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Daddy, Can I grow up to be like you?

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Daddy, Can I grow up to be like you?

Dad with Addison
*sigh* Where to begin? At the beginning?
I might have been a Daddy's girl.  I don't remember that far back.
My mother has always claimed you and I didn't get along because we were too much alike.
Although I knew a part of this was true, I wasn't really fond of that statement.

Dad bathing the twins
after eating cake on their
first birthday.
Honestly, I don't know what to say that can accurately portray our relationship back then without harming our relationship right now.
You were strict.  You had high expectations. You had a clear direction on how a child should be raised. Sometimes it seemed to me you focused too much on how to raise us into proper people.

Often, I was angry with you.  I felt you didn't understand me. Sometimes, I felt you took me for granted.  I rebelled against you.  I purposefully disobeyed you. (Shoot.... Once I drove your car over a set of railroad tracks.) But~ I prayed that someday you and I would come together and I would say, "Daddy, Can I grow up to be just like you?"

Well....Daddy.... Can I grow up to be just like you?
I mean it.  Adulthood has changed us both.  It is a lot harder to be a parent than I thought.  I'm always second guessing myself or wondering if I'm helping my children become great adults. I think that I make you proud.  I like that.

Me - on Left
Pappy -  in Center
You make me proud.  Now that I'm an adult you are no longer trying to "shape me" into the person you think I should be.  You are fun, you are relaxed, and our relationship is nothing short of what I could have dreamed of.  You are the Pappy I had.  When I think of your father, my heart melts into little flowers and rainbows.  The other day I was disciplining Addison and do you know what she said?  "I want to see Pappy now.  I want to go have hot chocolate with my Pappy."  And my heart swelled with pride and love.  She loves her Pappy the way I loved mine.

You are a great Pappy.  My kids love you.  Your love for them is evident every day.  I have to tell you something. I know that you worried when my mother was pregnant with me.  You are a genius (literally) and I know you worried that you would have a child who wouldn't be able to see the world as you see it.  I can tell you this was my fear also. (I guess we really are a lot alike.) I don't judge you by this fear.... it was over 30 years ago ~ as I hope no one will judge the fact that I had the same fears before having Alexander.  The fact that you feared a disability doesn't make me respect you less; it makes me love you so much more.

Because you love my kids. All of them. And more times than not, I see you holding Alexander. And my heart melts. It just melts.  You are the first to pick Alexander up.  Last summer, when I was dealing with the grief of the loss of a child I thought I would have, you made plans for us every week.  You took Alexander and I out into the world. (Granted - it was to hillbilly auctions) ... but still - we went.  You helped mend my heart.  I'm so proud of the man you are.  I think kids are allowed to be proud of their parents too....

I love you.

Daddy, Can I grow up to be like you?

If you have a story about how your relationship with a parent has changed, I would love to hear it!


At May 23, 2011 at 3:42 PM , Anonymous Alisha said...

*tears* and inspiration to do the same. I have allergies and my eyes are burning now, if I were near you....I'd give ya a kick on the booty {w/ love of course ;)} But I will do something similar.....

At May 24, 2011 at 1:26 AM , Blogger Amy said...

Love it. My parents are older - they were 42 and 44 when they had me - so there was always a generational gap between us. They were strict, but at the same time they allowed me to do a lot of things, mostly because I think I had proven myself to them. Now that I live over 1000 miles away from them it is hard to be "close" to them - they are not emotional people and they don't talk about feelings, so it was hard for me to talk to them when I really needed them the most. Dad and I are getting closer, but part of that is because Mom's mind is starting to go. :(

I just keep praying that I can make the trip back there this summer - it's going to be tough, but my kids and I need to see them again.

I love love love the pictures of your father and the kids - such treasures!


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