Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I Am Jealous of an 8-Year-Old

Oh boy. Here we go.

There is a big thing happening in my life this afternoon. My b/f's eight year old daughter is coming to town with her mom for a visit. I am a ball of conflicted emotions. On one hand I love that he is head over heels for his little girl. It is incredibly sweet and it reminds me why I fell in love with this guy in the first place. Any man who loves his kids that much has to be all right. I mean, come on, is there anything cuter than a grown man who is gaga over his little girl? Awwww.

Unfortunately all this father/daughter business just gets me thinking about my dad and our weird non-relationship. We talk a lot more these days, which is good. I just never have felt that close to my dad. I was very angry with him for a lot of years. ( I don't think he actually noticed, though) My dad isn't a bad guy at all. He's just..I don't know....just my dad. I've accepted that he's not going to change. People rarely do and it's silly to expect them to. That way lies madness. And ulcers. And lots of fights.

So, here's my b/f about to spend the week with his daughter who he is crazy about and I'm feelin' the green eyed monster rearing it's ugly head. Not only am I jealous of the time, love and devotion he's going to be lavishing on her, I'm pissed that I can't get the same from my dad. Or from him for that matter. Silly isn't it?

It's amazing how parent issues follow us our whole lives. We can try to convince ourselves that we're grown-ups now, that what our parents did to us doesn't matter anymore. I certainly believe that I am responsible for my own life at this point. I can't blame my mom or dad for what my life is or is not today. You have to let that stuff go at some point. But, damn, it's hard! There is still an eight year old girl in here that just wants someone's approval. There's a ten year old that wants Daddy to take her fishing again and there is a sixteen year old that wants him to patch it up with Mom and come back home.

I've heard it said that childhood is not the best time in our lives, it's the time we spend the rest of our lives recovering from. Can I get an 'Amen', people?

I'm going to go home tonight and meet this kid. I'll put on a nice smile and try not to think about all the stuff I never did with my dad. I'll remind myself that my b/f is my b/f and NOT my father. Maybe she'll want to watch one of my muppett movies or let me paint her fingernails purple (her mom will just love that, I'm sure). Maybe we'll all go get dinner one night while she's here and I'll decide she's a great little kid and miss her when she leaves. And maybe one of these days, I'll stop wishing that things had been different when I was a kid and get on with it.


chris p said...


the worst is that we know that these parental demons will haunt us until we figure out how to slay them.

at least knowing how wrenching our emotions over our parents can be informs us as to what our parents were going through when we were kids that made them less-than-great parents. which isn't to say that those relationships are any less enervating, just more readily understood with appropriate hindsight.

Banana Split said...

I can totally relate to your feelings about your dad. I feel the same way about my mom and/or dad depending on how I'm feeling about myself that day. It's very hard to realize your parents will never change no matter what you do. Love the blogs, keep writing.

Banana Split said...

I can relate to your feelings about your dad. I feel the same way about my mom and/or dad depending how I feel about myself that day. It's hard to realize that your parents won't ever change no matter what you do. Love the blogs, keep writing.

Marz said...

It is true that we are now an adult and we cannot change what we expereinced as achild. But I believe there is still room for kindness to ourselves for the emotions we experienced as a child. Were you ever allowed to express these feelings of rage and sorrow as a child? Like myself, I am betting that the answer was no. There is something to be said about our inner child. I am not talking about spiritual munbo jumbo, I am talking about the echos, the psychic impressions that these experiences left on our person and soul-for lack of a better word. Part of you is still that 8 yr old. Parent your inner child. Not harshly but with love and compassion and understanding. Acknowledge your child's pain, it is very real. And forgive yourself for your emotions. I think that there is too much emphasis given to "get over it and grow up." You don't have to forget ths ever happened and you don't have to carry it as a banner in your life either. There is a middle ground of Acknowledgement and acceptance. {I won't be offended if you choose not to post}