“Daddy, I love the way you love me.”
“Daddy, I love the way you love me.”
Me – “Why do you think God gave you to me?”
Her – “I don’t know. Because He just thought we would be good together.”
Me – “She was right.”
Her – “He or She.”
Her – “People think God is a person, and God is not a person.”
Me – “Yeah, some people give God human qualities and imagine God to be separate from themselves.”
Her – “God is Life.”
Me – “Exactly. I like to think of God as the ocean and each of us as waves. We’re part of the ocean. We are a part of God.”
I don’t remember what came after that, but it was a nice conversation to end our day as we stared at the stars on her bedroom ceiling.
This morning, I was thinking about how my daughter loves to perform. She does it at dinner, with friends at home talent shows, and she has delighted in her performance opportunities at her summer camps.
Me – “You really love performing, don’t you?”
Her – “Yeah.”
Me – “Is there anything you love more than performing?”
Without missing a beat, she responded-
Her – “You.”
Me – “That’s sweet. I mean, is there anything else you like to do more than performing?”
Her – “Be silly. Do magic.”
I noted that both of them had to do with performing.
A little while later, we were in the car. Out-of-the-blue…
Her – “Daddy, how much money do you have in your bank account?”
I told her roughly how much I currently have in my checking.
Her – “Wow. That’s a lot.”
It was silent for a moment before she added…
Her – “Would you like to be the richest man in the world?”
Without missing a beat, I responded-
Me – “I already am.”
She giggled, happy with my answer.
Me – “You understand what I mean, huh?”
Her – “Yes.”
The days consist of this. The days consist of that. But underneath it all is love and gratitude for our deep connection.
Can’t beat that.
We were in the pool at Nonna and Papa’s house goofing around. Her heel bopped me on the shin in a tender spot. Earlier in their home office she had bopped me with a flashlight in the eyebrow as she tried to get me to create a spotlight for her to dance in.
Back at the pool…
Me – “Ouch!”
Her – “Sorry, Daddy! Where does it hurt?”
I held my leg and rubbed the tender spot. Jokingly, I mused
Me – “Wow, you’re determined to hurt me today, aren’t you?”
Without missing a beat, she answered back-
Her – “No. I’m determined to love you.”
And, day by day, it shows.
I was at the computer, and she ran up to me
Her – “Daddy, time to swim!”
Me – “It’s 5:35. In ten minutes.”
Her – “Wait, let me smell your arm.”
She leaned in
Her – “A little bit of a chlorine smell.”
I guess that was from me realizing recently that all the swimming we do occasionally results in a slight chemical smell on our skin.
She started to leave but then quickly turned back and out her arm under my nose.
Her – “What do I smell like?”
Me – “Cuteness.”
She giggled, kissed me on the cheek and ran off.
On our way to camp this morning, I was spouting off about being grateful and excited. Not surprisingly, I guess, I looked up to see a car in front of us with a license plate that read
Me – “Look at that license plate, Bear. It says thanks to all of life, maybe. That person is living with an attitude of gratitude.”
After some thought to myself…
Me – “On the other hand, maybe the person is thanking, Al, a person.”
Her – “If I had a license plate it would say ‘Happy Days.’
Me – “Hmmm… mine would say ‘Passion in Motion.’
We drove a bit more and then I added…
Me – “You know, ‘Happy Days’ is a great theme. It’s definitely how you approach life now. It would be a fantastic theme to keep for all of your life. Happy days, one day at a time.”
She nodded and murmured in agreement, and on we drove.
She knows I’m dedicated to her well being, day after day, but I do have boundaries.
Her – “Daddy, can you…”
Me – “No, I’m not going to take that plate to the kitchen for you. You get up and do it.”
Me – “No, I’m not going to go get your comb. You know where to get it, and you know where to put it when you’re done.”
And so on.
Of course, I will help her out with things, but I draw the line on things that she ought to take care of on her own, given the situation. It’s important not only for myself but for fostering her independence and self-initiative.
But she will keep trying, as we all do as kids.
Today, she popped one that I thought was funny,
She’s in the zone this summer with having a good time and expressing herself in different ways. This morning, before camp, she started making a loon bracelet.
Honestly, at first, I thought to myself, “She has so many things on her goal board for the summer that does she really need to start yet another project?” But I kept quiet, reasoning that letting her creativity come out as she desired trumped doing something for her summer goals.
Me – “Just make sure you’ve brushed your teeth and have everything ready for camp before you continue.”
She took the little loon maker in the car and weaved away. By the time we arrived with the help of a YouTube tutorial, it was almost complete.
Her – “Can you finish it while I’m in camp?”
I bust out laughing
Me – “No!”
Her – “Yeah.”
Me – “Like I don’t have anything else to do with my day. I’m going to go home and watch a YouTube video on making loons so you have a bracelet while you’re having fun in camp? No!”
She nudged me in the arm with her elbow, annoyed, as I continued to chuckle about her request
Me – “Look, I love you, but I have some boundaries, too. You can complete it tonight.”
That earned me one more bop from her elbow.
You never know how your child will pick up a lesson. Setting boundaries with people is an important lesson to learn in life. Hopefully, this brief moment between us helps with that.