There Must be a Pony!


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.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to There Must be a Pony!

  1. LOL, sometimes the manure shows up before the pony. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Mitch
    You are on track as a parent. It usually takes till their late twenties for our kids to realize we may have any knowledge or insight at all. Happy Holidays!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Impressive maturity, Mitch. I am grateful that my ponies aren’t Clydesdales. 😁🙏

    Liked by 3 people

  4. barbigelow says:

    Adult daughters! Permanent and relentless critics of our flaws and foilbles. Can’t live without them!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Notwende says:

    Don‘t be too hard on yourself.
    After all you did what you thought was right.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post! I went through something similar with my own daughter. It’s hard to stop thinking of them as children that we’re responsible for and to start thinking of them as adults. But the important thing is that we recognize (sometimes reluctantly) that things have changed and then adapt accordingly (as you have).

    Also, congratulations on your new pony! And on your new Backyard Organic Farmer Kit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LOL! Oh dear, my poor youngest daughter is in the same predicament, times six people or so. Dad can’t seem to stop telling her to check the oil in her car, and the siblings have to speak every imaginable potential evil over her the moment she walks out the door. Also, my house is completely falling apart most of the time. We must be related. I’ll be over for Christmas! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. smzang says:

    You give all of us a pony with this timely and lovely post.
    Thank you; and may there be many ponies over the
    days and years ahead. Merry Christmas!

    After this, you should always put the letters C.D.C.D. after
    your name (Cool Dad, Cool Dude)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. notdonner says:

    It’s been very humbling to have adult children, boys – or girl in your case. I’m spending more time apologizing to our kids for offering insight they don’t ask for. But this little by little leads to great talks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice ending–made me misty-eyed

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can relate. I have five sons; 3 who are adults. Every now and then I have to remember (unless they remind me), they’re grown people.. Then I wonder, how did that happen??? Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Bill Sweeney says:

    Great post, Mitch. I can relate, I only gives my daughter advice when she asks for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jennie says:

    I love this, Mitch! When the truth hurts, there just might be a pony. Merry Christmas to you! 🎄

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Those grown daughters have a way of humbling a Dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ann Coleman says:

    You were so wise to prod until she told you what was wrong, and to actually listen to her say words that probably stung a bit. It’s so hard to realize our “kids” are grown up now and we need to treat them that way. But it sounds to me as if you two made huge strides toward a new and healthy relationship. Yup, you did get that Christmas pony! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Tina says:

    I can relate to this post from the daughter side, accept it’s more complicated than that because my Dad isn’t a Christian. Actually I am the only Christian in my family so it’s more than a dad thing. *Big eyes* BUT I am definitely all the more thankfull for my family in Christ. I need those Christian brothers, sisters, and dad-like figures.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Awesome endings are rooted in great beginning. You must have been a great dad before she moved out. Also, the whole purpose of CHRISTmas is reconciliation.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I hope you had a merry Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

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