Be Different

My Daddy's Girl

My Daddy’s Girl

How does he feel? That closed mouthed man.
I wouldn’t dare ask; For what I might not hear.
Has he missed the lost years? Or is he relieved?
He had none of the problems. Frustrations. Or fears.
Does he regret his decisions? Does he realize?
I always wanted to be “daddy’s girl”, but I didn’t know how?
~ my 20-year-old self, March 1992

I wrote this poem in college. It was a rhythm assignment for a writing class. It expresses my feelings about the primitive relationship I had with my father. My parents divorced when I was three years old and it is simply hard to build a relationship with someone you talk to every other weekend. I have always used writing to express myself. For me, words seem to flow much easier through my hands than out of my mouth. That is also why I find it so hard to publicly share. – Something I am trying to make an effort to change this summer, so that I am not such a hypocrite when I tell teachers and students how purposeful it is to blog. – My writing is so often personal and even when it is not, it is still part of me… who I am… laid out for all to see. To be criticized. (because I don’t always use complete sentences) What I have learned over the past two years about blogging is that it is the humanity of the blog posts I read that connects me to that person. It is through the imperfections that I am able to learn most. Sounds like teaching.

So, why am I sharing this now? Our school year ended a month ago, but for me it was cut short by almost two weeks when my dad went in for a fairly routine test and has yet to go home. What I have learned about my dad over the years, and confirmed in the many hours I have spent with him over the past 6 weeks, is that he didn’t know how to have that relationship either. It has never been about him not wanting it. We are alike in many ways – deep feelers and thinkers, but also self-preservationists. I have spent more time with my dad over these last few weeks than I may have spent in my entire life because he has been so sick I wasn’t sure if I would ever get another chance. He is slowly getting better and the doctors think they can do some things to give him even more time. He and I have been given a chance to do things different.

In many ways, this has given me a better understanding of where some of the teachers I work with are coming from. It is easy to always do what you have always done. It is easy to continue in the known than to step into the unknown by taking a chance and doing something different. It’s easy, until it’s not. For creatures who are meant to grow and change, we sure do an excellent job of continuing to do the same thing over and over even when it is not the best thing. What do you need to do different? What changes for the better do you need to make? I can think of a few… and it is going to be hard, but undoubtedly worth it.