As the girls and I hopped into the car this morning to get them to school, my youngest daughter mentioned some of her friends would not be at school today because they would be attending a “Pink” event at a local church.
Being the observant father, I said, “I bet Freida (not her real name) won’t be there.”
My daughter somewhat surprised said, “How did you know that? I didn’t know you knew they went to that church.”
I then went on a rant that put me in the annoying category. “I know I usually just read at your track meets and different activities, but if I am poked with a cattle prod long enough I can be forced to talk to people. And, despite my rapidly fleeing youth, I do have the capacity to remember and connect dots….as long as they aren’t too small…..”
Somewhere during this rant, my oldest daughter with slightly elevated voice uttered, “Stop!”
In a slightly frustrated voice, “Please don’t tell me to “Stop” like that. I was just trying to have fun with it.”
She did apologize. I don’t think either of them understands the challenges a parent faces. Although I may be changing in subtle ways, the more likely change is coming from them. As they are crawling their way into adulthood, they attempt to figure out how to navigate the new boundaries of the parent-kid relationship.
I am left feeling like the “annoying guy who drives them places”. As they continue to grow, I continue to wonder where my “little girls went”. When I get past the self-pity, I realize they are young ladies who are going to have to assemble a life with rules I am not able to provide for them. Despite the bouts with my pride, I need to realize these girls are really not mine for much longer. As I fight back the feelings of being annoying, they are developing a template for the possible order they will have in their adult life. As I come to grips with this, I do have to face the fact I can be annoying….