Finding balance in a chaotic world

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Daddy Issues

My wife and I watched “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” the other night and were pleasantly surprised. It was a fun movie and I liked Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer in it. At one point, Robert Downey Jr. wonders what it is about LA where all the girls there have Daddy issues. That theme follows through the rest of the movie as well. Coincidentally, Amy asked me to read Captivating, which is the female version of Wild at Heart and deals with women and what makes them female. I’m reading this book about all these women who had dysfunctional relationships with their father and the repercussions of that later in their life.  It made me want to go home and hug my daughter, that’s for sure.

 

I love spending time with Hope. She is so much fun and an incredibly smart first grader. I get worried at times though because her younger brother demands so much of my time. He is truly a Daddy’s boy right now and I want to take advantage of that as much as I can right now. Ah, you can see the classic balance struggle here already, can’t you?

 

I talked with my wife about my concern that I’m not spending enough time with Hope and she pointed out that she seriously doubted that Hope felt the same way. That was reassuring but at times I feel that my whole parenting experience is based on an irrational fear that some day when my kids are in their thirties they will point to something I did when they were five as the reason that they are now in prison.

 

So I’ve been taking the time to make sure Hope knows how special she is to me. We play more games together, share books together, and together we try to keep her brother from head butting me in the groin.  The good news is that I haven’t noticed any major change in her behavior towards me. This means that there was nothing wrong from her perception. Woot. The better news is that I’m feeling closer to her. Double woot.

 

Ultimately our children will grow up and make their own decisions and that is good and healthy. We can advise and influence but the final action is theirs. I just want to make sure that I burden my kids as little as possible and that they know that I love and support them as much as I can. When Hope starts dating, I can only hope that she does indeed date boys that are like me and that she is not looking for any kind of fatherial validation through them. As long as I keep my eyes on her, I think my odds are good