Then there’s the moment riding the bus with my arm around my daughter sitting next to each other. Two minutes into the bus ride she leans her body into mine and melts into me.
It’s that feeling that goes to straight my innermost self that this young woman as she, at times, clumsily and awkwardly, at times confidently and fiercely (always beautifully) claims her independence, still trusts me with her life, her world. She knows that with no notice she can also claim my as close to as humanly possible unconditional love for her. She desires to be reminded that I’m a core part of her foundation and to the best of my ability I will always be there for her.
We spent the next 5 minutes (both with one headphone in listening to our own music sort of) talking about sports and trying something new. It was about as every day stuff as it comes to parenting but the deep feeling surrounding us was undeniable.
It’s the feeling of loving and being loved for exactly who we both are (including both being dressed like we are BOTH going to high school! Although based on our outfits her school would be more upscale than mine would be….).
Shortly before we left the house I said to her that with regards to the struggle we were discussing, “Never forget, I believe in you. I know you’ll have to work hard and things will reveal themselves one day at a time, but I always believe in you.”
I share this only because my logical mind will try to look for a reason why it happened this morning. And who knows, maybe that was part of it. But a deeper part of me knows that that final 5 minutes of the bus ride sealed by a kiss on the head from Dad is an expression of a real relationship full of ups and downs in the last 14 years. It’s a relationship that no matter how tough it gets will never change….EVER. She will ALWAYS be my daughter.
Maybe that simple sentiment shared was just a reminder of how I always feel (no matter HOW confused I get from time to time).
I felt tremendous waves of gratitude as she got off to go to school that I’m a Dad, with an amazing daughter. I’m publicly putting words to it today in an effort to put yet another stake in the ground to say to myself “When things get most confusing and frustrating….remember this moment!” as so many of my dearest and closest friends, many (but not all) of whom are parents, must rely on.
The, sort of, vexing part of it is we just never know when this type of expression from our children or loved ones is going to happen. And rarely does it seem to happen when I want it! And while I have a million other things going on in my life, problems real or fancied (seemingly more of the latter…) for those 5 minutes nothing else in the world existed or mattered than that.