This is the last blog post I’ll be making for the foreseeable future.
The Little Girl is bristling at having her life detailed, and she worries about what her friends might think. She asked me to shut this down, and so I will.
Writing about family is a tricky thing. Anything less than full honesty does not play on the page: It just doesn’t feel authentic to the reader.
My daughter is beautiful.
This is not bloated dad-talk. She is, by every objective standard of judgment, a gorgeous kid.
On the flight back from Guatemala, where she was adopted, a flight attendant begged to hold the then-8-month-old, then paraded the child up and down the cabin. People gawked and smiled.
I signed the Little Girl up for an adult art class centered on aspects of the Mexican Day of the Dead, which is Wednesday. It’s close enough to her heritage, and I wanted to start teaching her about her ancestral Mayans.
She painted three sugar skulls – egg whites and sugar mixed and hardened into skull molds – without fear or squeamishness. In her mind, she thought of loved ones who died, people and animals. Even at 7, my baby has ghosts.
She was the only child in the class of seven women. They were kind and solicitous, and praised her efforts. This was a good day, and helped provide depth to Halloween.
As reported by BlackEnterprise.com, Michelle Obama has been offering parenting tips lately.
I spoke with her once in an interview about feeding good food to kids. I even had the chance to mention the Little Girl and her eating habits, which pleased my daughter no end at the time.
I wish we’d had more time to speak, because the woman seems to be raising (with the help of her husband and her mother) two lovely, shining girls. Anyone doing that well must have usable wisdom to impart.
Halloween approaches and once more I’m guilty of going full-Disney: buying my daughter a wildly expensive costume from the folks who seem to shape what kids look like and think nowadays.
So much of what my daughter watches -- and a sizable portion of her toy chest and her wardrobe -- come from the ubiquitous Wal-Mart of children’s dreams and diversions. It’s seeped into her brain, too, where she fantasizes about pixies and princesses, and wonders whether she’ll meet a prince some day.
The Little Girl is imparting wisdom on bullying, laying out the latest pedagogy on how to handle kids who pester, push, and terrify. I listen, fascinated.
Her school is taking great pains to let children know how to deal with such situations, and I am grateful.
Of course, I realize that my personal solutions to such problems are wildly out of step. And, obviously, I didn’t have to deal with on-line bullying and the particularly knotty issues that entails.
Being a parent means steer-wrestling with the unexpected.
Being a joint-custodial parent sometimes demands that you do that same wrestling wearing a blindfold.
This is to say that stuff happens in the other house that has repercussions in yours. And a daddy is suddenly called on to deal with something he never saw coming.