After reading DorkDaddy’s blog from the other day (see previous reblog) I got to thinking about my own daughter and her path to adulthood.
I’ve probably mentioned before that we are pretty close. For a while there, she was not only my daughter, but my best friend. We were Dork Buddies! She is the only one I feel I can be completely myself with.
And she’s gone.
I know she’s not really gone, but it feels that way sometimes. I know all kids grow up and move on, but it still feels like she’s gone.
WARNING!!! Crazy Thoughts Ahead! WARNING!!!
For the last few years, since she turned 18, we’ve been growing slowly apart. She has her boyfriend that she spends her time with, she doesn’t need Daddy to be the man in her life anymore. It breaks my heart just thinking that. Once we were inseparable, now I’m lucky if I see her at all.
She moved out recently. It’s a big step, a major milestone in a young person’s life to get that first apartment of your own. I didn’t get to help her move out, she just kinda ninja’d everything out the door. I would have liked to help, but she didn’t really need my help. (SOB) My mother asked me last week if I had gone to visit her in the new place. I had not. She asked me why. I didn’t know, I just hadn’t.
Now I know why I had yet to visit. The wife and I went shopping with her today and then went over to drop off her stuff at the apartment. It’s a pretty nice place, in case you were wondering. The visit was short, but long enough to put the second-to-last nail in my heart coffin. I realized that if I never saw the apartment, then it wouldn’t be real. I only saw her once a week anyway, so I could just convince myself that nothing had changed. Now I know its real. Now I know that my little girl had grown up while I wasn’t looking.
All of that is a little sad, but a normal part of our children growing up. The rest of my thoughts and feelings are probably not so real or normal.
I realized that, while we were close, we are not as close as I thought. Not in the ways I think really matter. We almost never talk about anything serious, just dorky stuff. We laugh a lot when we are together, my favorite thing to do is make her laugh, but when it comes to something real, she just whispers to her mother in the kitchen. In the last eleven years, we have had very few real conversations, apart from lecturing her about some stupid mistake she made growing up. I’m sure my wife thinks I’m closer to her own daughter than she is, but I disagree. I’m a close friend, but she is the closer parent.
I also realize as I’m writing this that the wife and I very rarely have serious conversations either. I know she is afraid of my reaction to anything she wants to talk to me about. I get it, I am a bit unstable, but sometimes things need to be said. I also rarely have deep talks with my friend. We’ve had a few, and I always feel special to be involved in his life when we do, but it is a rare occurrence. Am I just not someone people take seriously? I do joke and try to make people laugh, but I’m just as emotional and real as anyone.
The paranoia in me feels that no one does take me seriously. Maybe I’m not even real. Maybe I’m a little crazier than I thought and thats why people tiptoe around me. Maybe I’m just not a good friend. I have such an aversion to interrupting people’s lives that I quickly lose touch with people. I don’t feel I am worthy of their time, that they have something better to do than spend time with me.
I’m going to cry like a baby at her wedding, I’m welling up now just thinking about it. I hope it won’t be for a while, but it might as well be tomorrow as fast as she is growing up. I wonder what would our Daddy/Daughter dance be to. Some sappy song that doesn’t really mean much to us, probably. What I do know is that I will take a hankie with me so I don’t get her dress too wet from the tears.
Everyone, call your parents/children and tell them how much you love them and miss them. Believe me, they can never hear it enough.