Did the world just come to a crashing halt? No? If the earth hasn’t stopped spinning, why is it that I feel so dizzy and I can’t catch my breath? Oh, I know what it is. It’s that moment when you realize that the person you once admired so much isn’t who you thought they were. I think we all feel that dizziness at one time or another, though the realization may not always reflect the same person.
My world stood still on its axis briefly when I realized that my father wasn’t the man I’d idolized my whole life. In no way do I mean to sit here and disparage my father. What I mean to say is that the man is human. Somehow I hadn’t realized this until now. He was always better than me, cooler than me, and wiser than me. He was perfect. As I grew older this remained my truth; until recently.
I will always love my father and I will forever admire his strength and perseverance but no longer do I believe he is without fault. I have thoughts of my own and though he may be older and wiser, I cannot accept the notion that his experience somehow invalidates my own opinions. With every harsh word, from his lips or mine, his star shines a little less bright. With every loud and frustrating disagreement, I see that we are the same. I am my father’s daughter, stubborn and hot-headed; strong and determined. I am well aware that I am flawed and having seen how similar I am to my father, knowing my own faults, I can no longer award him the position of perfection he once held.
Am I proud to be my father’s daughter? Of course I am. Frustrating as the man may be, he’s a parent and it is to be expected. I’ve been told that parents have a hard time letting go of their children, and no one could have proved this better than my father. Love is a dangerous and strong emotion, for family and lovers alike. The same rules apply. The tighter you keep hold of what you love, the more they pull away. My message to couples, parents, and children alike take the time to walk in their shoes. What must they feel like? Am I suffocating them? Am I giving them enough attention? Am I listening to what they want? Don’t lose the best thing in your life because you didn’t take the time to slip into those loafers, those sneakers, or those heels.
Tears and tantrums come with the territory when you love someone, no matter what age you are and no matter whom your love is for. Children, don’t lose hope when your world stops for a moment because you realize that your parents aren’t the superhero you thought they were. Parents, don’t lose hope when your children stop seeing you as a superhero and be grateful that they can accept you for who you are. They will still love and admire you, for the real you. Miraculously, the world will start spinning again.