I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to write the “super blog”. So if you’re among the few thousand readers who logged on to this post, thank G-d! I made it. However, if you’re the only person in the world who clicked here today, then I thank G-d even more; because I finally got you to pay attention to what I have to say.
Please understand that it’s not that I want to do all the talking. I also want to listen to you and validate your feelings; but you don’t tell me things anymore. So how can we communicate if you won’t listen or share? I know it must have been frustrating sometimes, that your mother and I didn’t really know when to stop treating you like a child, but we made the effort and if you don’t meet us even part of the way you will never know how good our relationship can be.
You know, we all have unique personalities by which we develop our familiar ways of being. You don’t learn it and you don’t earn it. In fact, we all have an always-already way of being that starts in the womb. Your anger issues must have started then because during your mom’s pregnancy, she used say that she had better eat before you start kicking her again. It was as if you had figured out how to let her know that you were getting hungry. Then you showed your stubborn streak during your birth. You were halfway down the canal and then suddenly stopped. You mother tried pushing with all she could muster but to no avail, so the doctor had to drag you out kicking and screaming with a pair of forceps. When you finally emerged you looked like you were in need of anger management therapy.
Yet, once the nurse swaddled you and put you in the bassinet you became quiet; looking around trying to size up the situation. In the next moment, I stepped up behind you and snapped a picture with a flash. What a Kodak moment that was! Your eyes opened wide and you turned your little peanut head in the direction of the flash. The two doctors and two nurses were laughing, astounded; they said that they had never seen a newborn do that (maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but we were all surprised and impressed). Thus, you made a grand entrance and you were the star attraction; a real headliner. I knew then that I was in for the ride of my life and you proved me right.
Nonetheless, with all of the aggravation and heartache, I knew that you had the makings of a star and that someday you would learn how to wire up your head to your heart and connect them. I wanted to be there always to guide you, even though I had to end up shoved into a remote corner like a useless broomstick by the time you were fifteen. I also remembered that when I was a teenager, one of the favorite topics of conversation was kids complaining about their parents being too . . . whatever. That’s why, I knew it was going to be my turn, but I never wanted you to think of me as one of those fuddy-duddy parents who could never understand their kids; I guess that was just unavoidable.
Anyway, as you were growing larger by the minute, there was always this driving force within you; a huge amount of emotional energy like a boiler that has to blow off steam or explode. You also had an amazing psychic awareness that had us all gawking in wonderment. When you were two years old, we were living in the top half of a duplex with a flight of stairs leading from the front door to the living room. Every time someone was unlocking the door, knocking or ringing the bell, you would say who it was before he or she came in. Whenever you did that, I was flabbergasted; especially when you would say your brother’s name and he would show up two minutes later. I use to think that the police might one day ask you to solve their crimes.
You also hated being confined; but rather than complain, you sat quietly in your playpen planning your escape. I never did figure out how, but you dug a gaping hole in one corner big enough to crawl through. It took two months but you pulled off a perfect prison break.
Then all of a sudden, you were wearing pigtails with those big eyes and dimpled smile. Everybody marveled at what a beautiful child you were. You danced your way into the hearts of your teachers at the Robert Mann Dance School in Bayside. Tip tapping to “Little Grass Shack in Hawaii” with that hula skirt during your first recital was a riot, but I was crying. The teacher put you front row center because you were the only kid who had the timing right with the heel-toe thing.
A year later, we found out you could sing too when we sent you to pre-school at the YM-WHA. The teacher got into a fit because you were humming the theme to “The Godfather” movie. She thought you were watching inappropriate material.
You have all the qualities for survival and success; unstoppable determination. But you also have no impulse control, because you haven’t had enough time to learn to evaluate the unintended consequences. I tried to guide you and sometimes I lost it with some anger impulse of my own. You see, this internal struggle never ends and get more complicated as you get older. Now you are only responsible for yourself, but as you get older you will be responsible for others. Nonetheless you still have a profound effect on your younger sister and the rest of your family.
However, as you reach adulthood, your decisions will actually alter the life path of others and may even determine the result in life or death situations. Thus it becomes even more imperative to assess and evaluate the different possible outcomes of your choices before you make them. But you didn’t listen to me and decided to ride the whirlwind. I rode it with you. It broke my heart to see you in prison gray at the kiddie jail. We learned a lot about each other during the family group therapy sessions that followed in the “Second Chance” program. My heart then swelled with pride when I looked at your high school diploma and I was doing mental cartwheels on your first day of attending college.
Now you just turned twenty and the teenager roller coaster ride is over for me. I am a little wobbly in the knees, but as I watch you now with your new-found dedication to your school work, I couldn’t be prouder. Perhaps we had to go through the whole father-daughter storm after your Mom and I got divorced, but I am glad that you chose to live with me.