I had lunch with my 21-yr-old daughter this week. She was in town for an internship day with a local internet company. We met at the mall and had lunch at Nordstrom's. We joked about how she knew where the elevator was in the store when she could barely walk--no doubt, she made many visits with her mother and knew her way around.
I was thrilled to see her, but my timing was off. I was having a bad day. She tried to console me which seemed the opposite of the way things should be. Dad's have an inherent desire to protect daughters and give them all the world has to offer. It did not help that the "elephant in the room" is my knee does not allow me to run much at all at this point. She's tried to offer words of comfort.
It reminded me of a car ride conversation with her years ago. She was either late grade school or perhaps Jr. High. The night time car ride got silent with just the two of us in the car. I sensed something was amiss and asked what was on her mind. The "floodgates opened" and between tears and gasping for air, she talked about a boy at school. She liked him, but he wasn't treating her well. I tried to use the "pulling the ponytails" logic for kids at that age explaining that if he was doing those things, it could very well be that he DID like her.
Trying a bit of reverse psychology, I shared my cruel Jr. High year stories with her. I was blessed with glasses, zits, red hair (I love it now, but questionable at that age,) a slight figure, and a bonus of arthritis. I told her I'd show her my photos to prove what an awkward lad I was when we got home which I did. The tactic temporarily worked and she then began to feel sorry for me.
"Maybe if you combed your hair differently?," she suggested. She was literally thinking if I could have gone back in time and perhaps changed my red mop in the way I wore it, I would have been somehow less awkward and maybe I wouldn't have been so invisible.
Flash forward back to the lunch at Nordstroms. I apologized and told her, I'd be okay and tomorrow would be better. The next day, I open an email entitled, "Be Happy."
Inside the email, she wrote;
Here's a link to my website. https://anna-nicole.wixsite.com/portfolio
I thought it might cheer ya up. I'm still working on it, but I thought you'd like to see it.
Her note worked beyond the words. I'm continually "blown away" by the compassion she shows as a young woman I'm very proud of. Her strategy worked...for a time the knee seemed insignificant. If I could have only time-traveled and changed my hair in Jr. High.