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This one goes out to the one I love

04/15/2010

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I want to tell you about an amazing event happened this day in 2002.  My little daughter was born.  I say little, but to be honest she is firmly on the way to turning into a fine young lady.  I don’t normally talk about my family, except in passing, but I’m going to make an exception here.  I want to tell you about my daughter and I want to tell you what she has taught me about myself and about my views on other people.

I’m blessed to have two fantastic children, and as any parent I am proud as punch.  My son is two years older than his sis and has always been very close to me.  In a lot of ways we are very alike.  He is studious, he is quiet, reserved and he is quite emotional.  All, believe it or not are traits that I recognise in myself.  If he has homework from school generally he will settle down to it and get it done.  If he has a meal he eats the vegetables first to make sure they are done with.  I could extol his virtues all day, but I’m not here to speak about him.

My daughter is everything that takes me out of my comfort zone.  At school she is fair to middling.  But she doesn’t mind.  She told me that she was on the second lowest table for maths.  “Are you ok with that?” I asked. “Yep” she replied, “It’s good, it means I don’t have to do the hard stuff”.  A little while ago she came up to see me, “Dad” she said, “What’s a rectangle?” (at this time she was 7!), “Umm……its a shape a bit like a square” I replied nervously, “Thanks Dad, you’re right, I forgot”.  I’ll be honest there were lots of times when I felt angst.  There were worried conversations with my parents as I fretted about whether she would ever learn to spell the basic connectives.   This wasn’t the sort of kid that I knew or understood.  And I am so ashamed to say, that at times I thought I had failed.

But as time has gone on I have discovered a magic that she has, that has opened my eyes.  Leave her alone and she will happily play, making up games, creating new worlds and adventures.  Put her in a room with other kids and she will have a whole series of friends within minutes.  A few years ago on holiday she became inseparable from two little Dutch girls despite the fact that they had no language in common.  Another time one of the parents of another child that had become attached asked me, “Do kids always stick to her like this?” and the truth is they do.  Someone gets hurt she is there picking them up, dusting them down and getting them back on their feet.

She is true to herself, she is about as “authentic” as you will ever get.  When she gets dressed sometimes it looks like she has dived into a drawer and come out wearing whatever stuck to her, but somehow she still manages to pull it off.  She is dippy and dozy and sure she isn’t the brightest kid in the class.  But what she does have is charisma, charm and a huge, huge heart.  She goes about life her way, she does things how she likes and she ploughs her own furrow in this world.  I know she is still young, but I hope that she will always continue to do so.

I used to think to get on in life you had to fulfil a set pattern, that you had to follow the steps to success.  I used to think that there were those who did well in school and therefore life, and those that didn’t.  I used to think that if you weren’t good at something then you could and should get better just by working harder.  I used to think you could compare people and work out who was best.

And now I realise how naive I was, how stupid I was to think that in any way she was a failure.  My little one proved me wrong.  And I can’t begin to tell you what a lesson this has been and how much I’m a better person for having her in my life.

Happy Birthday x

23 Comments leave one →
  1. 04/15/2010 08:53

    Possibly the best blog post I have read, ever…

  2. 04/15/2010 09:27

    A truly heart warming story and I really enjoyed reading this. It is just a shame that you choose to remain anonymous because this would be so much more powerful if you were a real person to me.
    I understand your position on this but I believe blogs need to have a real personality behind them and this blog would be significantly enhanced if it did.
    Maybe I should start a campaign to ‘out’ you!!
    Only kidding of course, you are entitled to your privacy and I wish you well.

  3. 04/15/2010 12:39

    Sounds like my oldest daughter – we can learn so much if we actually listen. She (my daughter) just gets on with it all and to hell with the consequences – and what does her Dad (or Mum) know anyway.

    Nice post…….

  4. Lena M. permalink
    04/15/2010 12:45

    May she never change… 🙂

  5. Karen (Sayya26) permalink
    04/15/2010 12:57

    awwww 🙂 this is really a lovely post. And you are so right- just because we don’t fit into a predetermined mould doesn’t mean we’re not any good. We all have our strengths that make us special and valuable.

  6. 04/15/2010 13:57

    Man, you made me well up!

  7. Corporate Daycare permalink
    04/15/2010 13:58

    What is almost as beautiful as your daughter is the fact that she has a father that recognizes her beauty.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    (oh…and happy birthday to her!)

  8. 04/15/2010 15:21

    Well HRD, this is such a lovely post, I’m afraid it might damage your standing in the hall of Bollocks! 😉

    I’m glad you came to realize that school only teaches a subset of subjects relevant to life, thus it is silly to measure & worry about someone solely on that. Plus, some of the brightest people today (even academics) were far from being high performers earlier in life.

  9. G-dog permalink
    04/15/2010 23:36

    So your heaven is other people too!
    Your daughter is lucky that you recognize her strengths, and accept them & her and don’t find the need to “fix” her. She’ll find her own path to her own definition of success – with your support.
    I envy her ease with others – I am more the uncomfortable anal retentive bookworm… (geek/nerd)

  10. 04/16/2010 04:49

    Very beautiful – and I’ll bet that her big heart makes you see people differently at work, too. Your two children will carry the gift of your love with them throughout their lives. Well done!

  11. 04/16/2010 07:43

    @Roger Philby – Roger, welcome and thanks for your incredibly kind comment. It is truly appreciated.

    @mrlinkedin – Hi and thanks for commenting. Unfortunately anonymity is a cross that I have to bear given my employment status. Either that or self censor….which I’m not very good at!

    @Peter Gold – Hey Peter, thanks for dropping by. “We can learn so much if we actually listen”. Wise words…..

    @Lena M – I’m hoping not Lena….I’m hoping not….

    @Karen – You have all of this to come! You must let me know how things are going? I hope you’re taking care of yourself.

    @Katrina C – The Aussie chick has a heart! Thanks for commenting. I’ll admit to being in tears whilst I wrote this. (Bang goes my macho credentials!)

    @Corporate Daycare – Thank you so much. And Happy 10th Birthday to your son too!

    @Geekette – I think I have enough bollocks not to worry….hang on that came out sounding wrong…..!

    @G-dog – Embrace your inner geek….I know I do!

    @mkeeffer – That just made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside…..thanks Marsha

  12. 04/16/2010 11:23

    really just echoing the other comments – this was a beautiful post and one I’d like to think I recognise in myself and my daughter.

    I’ve always been a believer that “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the dog in the fight”, and having employed a number of people over the years and been a team member and leader in various environments from military to sports teams and social groups, I know that the best thing I can do for my kids is help them understand about what a good work ethic is – because the best people I’ve ever employed/worked with/played alongside/led have that. It’s not the qualifications you have (quite the opposite it would seem at times TBH), it’s just the spirit and enthusiasm you find for whatever’s asked of you.

    Do everything that’s asked of you to the best of your ability and I firmly believe you will find yourself earning opportunities to fulfill whatever your true natural potential is. Find peace with that and there lies true happiness – the thing I think we’ll all agree that we want most for our children.

    I hope you’re daughter had a lovely birthday.

  13. KBMayes permalink
    04/16/2010 12:33

    Just read this (admittedly very late). I am expecting a daughter in less than 10 days and this has really elevated some huge butterflies about how to be a good parent to both a son (now 3 and a half) and a new baby girl. Thanks

  14. 04/16/2010 12:52

    @Alex Hens – Alex, welcome and thanks for commenting. Let’s hope we raise a generation of happy, contentented kids that understand that doing their best, being happy and being at peace with their lot are the paths to true success.

    @KBMayes – You can never be to late to comment. Thanks and Hi! I send you all my best wishes for the birth, I hope it goes ok. I’m glad I could in a small way aleviate some concerns. Sit back and enjoy the differences….thats my advice!

  15. 04/16/2010 13:08

    It sounds like you have done your job as father perfectly – rearing a happy girl who knows she is loved and accepted. Happy father’s day.

  16. 04/16/2010 21:01

    @The gold digger – I can only hope so. Thank you.

  17. G-dog permalink
    04/17/2010 00:56

    Alex – interesting comment, hopefully true for all of us and kids. I am currently having a hard time finding satisfaction in trying to do my best (may not be doing my best – but I am trying damn hard) – so this comment is particularly timely for me!

    HRD – it’s the inner geek that is paying the bills! And a belated happy birthday to your daughter (an Aries…(

  18. 04/20/2010 10:49

    @G-dog – You and me both…..! Thanks for the best wishes.

  19. Nupur permalink
    06/09/2010 05:51

    Really nice one
    I could visualize evrything u have written.
    Beautiful truth.
    Do not every try to change her. Let her keep her original beauty intact.

  20. Nupur permalink
    06/09/2010 05:52

    Do not ever try to change her*
    (Last mistake…. updated)

  21. 06/10/2010 07:15

    @Nupur – Thank you and don’t worry about the error! Thanks for commenting.

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