So here is Part 2 to the post I wrote about why father’s are important. If you didn’t catch it, click here so you have a basis of where I’m going with this.
Let me tell you a little known story about my life. Its basis is formed on a lot of self evaluation and counseling and reading and life.
As a little girl I was a daddy’s girl. I liked the things he liked, I admired him, I thought the goofiest things he did were absolutely wonderful. He was the light of my life. He was my safety and my love. That all changed around age 13ish. Suddenly the goofy man who could never remember lyrics to songs so he’d make them up, was irritating. The man who broke out in a falsetto out of tune rendition of a Queen song was embarrassing. I no longer wanted to hang out with him and I no longer really wanted to sit on his lap and all of this is a normal progression of life and puberty. Your parents are supposed become nerds or we’d never the leave home. There’s a post for another day.
Only my dad didn’t know how to take this. He retreated as well. We no longer had the conversations about boys and how they were supposed to treat women. We no longer had secret dates to the mall where he’d buy me something my mother forbade. We became awkward with each other. Not on purpose, neither of us had the tools we needed.
One night, when I was about 14 my dad called me on the phone. It was late about 2 am and I was breaking curfew by talking on the phone and I thought I was busted. Instead he began to talk about how he loved me, missed me and felt disconnected. He said, “I wish I could reach you but you’re so caught up with boys and friends and I don’t know how to make this better.” I assured him I loved him and told him I would be fine because honestly I didn’t know what I needed any more than he did.
A year later I had my first boyfriend. I was doing stupid things, going against my convictions and knowing that I was doing the wrong thing only I didn’t know where to stop. My father was becoming even more distant, sending my mother in to talk to me about his concerns. He was concerned that I was on the brink of having sex with my boyfriend but didn’t know how to approach me. We were creating a chasm in our relationship that honestly still exists today. How I wish we both knew better in these moments but you know, parents do the best they can with what they have. Neither of us had been here before and we didn’t have Dr. Laura and the experts telling us how to do this father/daughter thing right.
My father completely shut down when I became pregnant. When I decided to get married he sat me down and had one of the most profound conversations of my life. He said I had made serious mistakes but they didn’t have to continue. He urged me not to get married. He said it would be a disaster and he also told me that if I insisted he would not attend.
As I walked out of the door to the chapel to get married, my father looked me in the eye and said, “Don’t go.” I smiled at him and said, “Oh daddy, I love you and it will be fine.” Of course it wasn’t.
Do you get why I think dads are important? Because when mine stepped away is when I floundered. When a dad is absent is when a child gets in trouble. And I’m out of time and not finished talking so wait for Part 3.