27 September 2011

Little Mirrors, Big Reflections

September 13, 2011, 8:20 p.m.  Home.  Drinking tea and thinking.

Living alone, as I do now, has not been easy.  It is easier than it was when I first was thrown into it, yes, but some days it grates.  No, not grates.  That isn't quite the word I sought.  Let me rephrase it:  Some days, it exhausts.  It wears down.  Today was like that.  The weariness started, as it often does, at work.  One too many repetitive questions over things I had considered settled, another iteration of not being allowed to do my job without undue interference.  Sparing the details, it is difficult to manage when the second guessing and redirection starts.

Anyway.  That is not exactly the topic at hand.

I left work feeling quite drained, a physical state that induces in me a tendency to ponder.  True to form, the wheels in my head were turning almost as fast as the wheels on the car taking me home.  I considered what I do, and my reactions to things, and how I ended up where I am in life.  And I wondered how much was fated and how much would be different had I just paid more attention and stood up for myself more often.

I thought about this, because I wondered about the incredible creature who is my daughter, and what she will be like when she gets older and has to make increasingly difficult choices in her life.  Choices that will have material effects on the person she will become and the life she will lead.  This led me to saying out loud to myself "I hope she doesn't turn out like me".

The hardness of the truth in that whopper was matched only by its utter absurdity.  I then laughed at myself, because why on earth would I say such a thing?  More importantly, why would I believe such a thing?

The truth of it is, I do hope that my daughter doesn't turn out like me.  I don't want her held in thrall to a sometimes crippling lack of self-confidence, or gripped by the sudden bouts of social awkwardness that occasionally sink their claws in to me.  I hope she doesn't fail at standing up for herself, as much as I have on some occasions in the past.

I don't want her to be steamrolled by doubt.

I know by objective measures my life and the way I live it isn't so bad.  My sense of self is in much better shape than it has been in a long time.  I hope I am being successful at showing my daughter how to be strong, how to be balanced in life.  I can't say I'm perfect, but I do hope I'm good.

That way, maybe my daughter will grow up to be better than me.  I have all confidence in her...but it's me that still has things to learn, too.


  1. "The more you praise and celebrate your life,
    the more there is in life to celebrate."


  2. I do hope that in some ways she turns out like you.

    Clarification: I hope she turns out like her, with the best of you in her.

    My gut tells me you're a great father. My experience with several great fathers tells me that she is, and will continue to be a lovely human being.

  3. I guess if she does have these traits that you hope she'll avoid, you'll be there with a hefty dollop of understanding for her...

  4. TBF has the right idea...whatever of you there is in her, you will be in the best place to guide her.

    But more importantly, there is a LOT of you she'd be lucky to get.

  5. We always hope our kids have it better than we've had it. We wish only the best of the best things in life for them so they don't suffer our pains. From what I know about you, I think she will be a lucky girl to inherit some of your many good qualities, and I'm sure she will do just that. That's your legacy.

    And if there's something not so good in the mix, you can always say, She didn't get that from me! (I say it from time to time...)

  6. it is a terrible and disquieting thought to breach the subject of children. i am utterly terrified of all the what ifs surrounding my hypothetical children. the only thing that gives me any comfort is that in the end, we each must choose to live.

    im 18...wth am i thinking about this stuff for???

  7. tough shit, your daughter is going to be like you! but you know what? she can also grow up knowing how crazy you are about her, which will give her strength during those moments of weakness!!

    oh and living alone - embrace it for it will not always be so!! this is your time to come home and cook in the buff! this is your time to eat cereal at ten o'clock and this is your time to bring a girl back to your place and this time, unlike when you were a young 'un, actually (hopefully) not disgust her with your bathroom when she gets up in the night :) heeeheee. your marching orders: listen to 'hey ya' by outkast at a very loud volume and dance like a total goober in your kitchen while making kraft mac n cheese. NOW!

  8. Life is one long learning curve for all of us, and so it will be for our kids. All we can do is love them.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...