Sometimes a follow-up entry is just necessary, don't you think? I mean, I could just leave you hanging. Let you draw your own conclusions. But if you know me at all, you know how much I despise silence when overt communication seems to clearly be the better option. So. Here's what happened Friday night when Jessica and I went out to dinner...
...I let her be her and she let me be me. There were no weird, pre-concocted questions. There were no forced issues. There was just a young woman and her proud dad having dinner together, enjoying each other's company, conversation, and laughter. We had a great time!
I'm learning what it means to be her friend while still being her dad. It sounds weird to me, so I don't mind if it does to you too. A part of me wants to protect her forever from anything that would cause her an ounce of pain. Believe me, it's a BIG part of me, but another part of me wants her to prosper and grow and gain strength and success and stand tall in the world. I know intellectually that pain is part of the growth process, so my desire for her growth seems like the antithesis of my wish to protect her. The reality is this: pain and protection from pain both have, as their finished product, growth. So, where does that leave me? It leaves me no choice but to admit that I'm going to struggle with this. And that 'this' is my struggle, not hers. I'm going to keep engaging her. I'm going to bumble along down this road some more. Sometimes I won't get it right and I know that, but I'm done doing only the things I get right! In the end, Jessica will forge her own way in this world and she will know that her dad loves her.
By the way, the name of the restaurant where we had dinner was: SEEDS