I don’t write in this nearly as much as I want to. A handful of entries over the years. I am embarrassed that I haven’t taken more time to capture what might be the single greatest gift ever entrusted to me. Fatherhood. Cecilia.
So, two things that stand out. Unrelated I think.
The other night as Sissy went to bed, we were turning over for story time and she told me how her belly hurt with hunger. Just alittle hungry, she told me. Now, we have a rule – you eat at dinner and then not again until breakfast. Its not thoughtless. When she is at my house, she eats sufficiently at dinner. She sits at the table and we eat together. And she goes to be and wakes with an appetite. There is nothing wrong with snacking, of course, but I just want to teach her that food isn’t the backdrop of our lives, to eat ad litem, and graze. food is a social thing, and a meal, and something for which to be grateful. But her mom lets her snack in bed and she is used to it. And that is hard for a kid- having two sets of rules. But I try and gift her consistency. So, I said no. And she cried. She cried she wanted mommy. And that hurt. Of course. I think anyone can feel that. But the thing that was magical was that I just held her, and I felt anger rise up, and burn out, and dissipate, and I was still just holding her. And it was fine. Somehow my story didn’t enter into the moment with her. She she was ready for a story and we went to bed. I don’t know why that is special. Or maybe I do. Since I was a kid, I get angry when I am stuck. It all backs up and I get angry. And God knows I never wanted to be angry with my child. But I get there. We all do at times I guess. But I looked back, and realized that I could be angry and my love her Sissy helped me leave it there, unengaged, and I acted with kindness and compassion. Because my love for her, and for myself and the parent I want to be was greater than the need to reenact a story. And that was nice.
So the other thing was in the bath. Sissy called me in. And she had emptied the whole conditioner jar into the tub. And I was stunned. I asked that question every parent since the beggingin of time asks- why? All of it Siss? Yes daddy. Why? I don’t know. Well, I told her her self service conditioner privileges were over. She had dumped the whole thing in the tub. So the other day K was taking a bath and I went in to talk to her. The new jar of condition was beside the tub, and when she reached for it, it slipped and fell in. And I realized, oh lord, it was an honest mistake. And the next night, Siss was bathing, and she dipped one tiny finger into the conditioner and asked – is this ok daddy? I wept. How sweet. How unexpectedly honest and sweet.