August 10, 2022 –
“You may sometimes wonder why I do what I do. Just remember, my child, my every thought is for you.”
Now that I am in my eighties, I allow myself to think about the time when I was a young father. Fatherhood (or motherhood) is not a title given to you, but a title earned through the ups and downs and the good and bad experiences that mold a parent.
One of my up-and-experiences was a difficult transformational lesson. I was in my living room, relaxing, talking with my son, when my daughter came in and said, “The car is down the road with a flat tire.” She said nothing else as she ascended the stairs to her bedroom, where she entered the room and closed the door.
Taking my son with me, I went to change her tire and bring the car home. When we arrived, my daughter was still upstairs in her bedroom, with a closed door. I did not go up to talk with her. Her teenage hormones were working overtime, and I knew a discussion would soon be an argument. No parent has won a debate with their teenager.
As I think about the incident, I realize that day was the day I went from being a prince to being a pauper. Before the flat-tire incident, I could do no wrong in my daughter’s eyes. She would slide in between my wife and me when we went out for dinner. Wherever we went, she would hold my hand, laugh, and look at me with google eyes. Things changed in our relationship. She had become a woman and I remain her dad.
People change, and that’s good. I switched from employee to retiree. My week is made up of six Saturdays and one Sunday. I know my grown daughter, the mother of four, loves me, and I love her all seven days of the week.