Last week we found out someone had stolen a credit card out of our mail box, activated it, and bought themselves a top-of-the-line computer from the Apple Store! Um, Merry Christmas? (Yes, we’ve disputed the charge.)
The next day we learned that a basement leak is going to require two days of ditch digging to re-route a failing drain pipe. It will cost beaucoup buckaroos–right after Christmas. Um, noel, noel?
It’s the holidays, %@&*^@ it! There must be a pony here somewhere!
Then our out-of-townie daughter flew in. It’s been ten years since she moved away at age 17 to attend college in California. I’ve only seen her in person two times a year since then, so her trips home provide treasured Dad Times.
But our Daughter and Dad Day (shopping for Mom and Sister) was oddly tense this year. I prodded. She finally admitted being frustrated with our bi-annual convos. My barrages of fatherly advice, she said, always make her feel like she’s still a kid, with few valued experiences or opinions of her own!
I suddenly felt like I was under a huge pile of manure—of my own making. I was guilty as charged. I made this mess! I realized, and now I need to clean it up. Her words hurt because they were true. In many ways, our relationship froze when she moved away in 2008. It was a case of arrested development.
I asked her forgiveness. She backpedaled, saying it was her fault, too. “No, you’re right,” I insisted. “I need to get to know you as a grown-up with insights of your own.” This very conversation was, in fact, the result of one of those insights.
It was a lot to process all at once, and there was still some residual tension. So we had an impromptu follow-up that evening. As the tension dissipated, she went on to share her views on myriad subjects, not all of which I agreed with (shock, shock!), but all of which were heartfelt and well-informed. Wow! I thought. This is a very impressive young woman!
I went to bed that night with a heart full of gratitude.
I’d finally found the pony.