Average Jane

The “Daddy” Post

It’s no secret that I have a very strained relationship with my dad. He’s not well mentally, emotionally, or physically. He isn’t all that nice to my mom. He isn’t all that nice to me. He treats the dog like a child, and he treats me like a stranger.

On his blog, Arjewtino talked baseball. Unexpectedly, my comment veered from my former love of the sport, to the love of my father. It reminded me of the days when we would sit on the couch watching the game, talking stats, yelling at the umps.

Reminded me of the days when he would come to all of my games. When I could hear him from the crowd yelling my name. “RUN! RUN! GOOD EYE! GET ‘ER IN THERE!” When we would go to ice cream and talk about the time I hit that grandslam, when I passed out from the heat playing catcher. When they pulled me in to pitch for the first time.

He was so proud of me. He would glow when I brought home a good report card. His eyes would light up when I told him of the battles I was waging against the injustice at school. He would hug me when I had a bad day. He was my dad. My daddy.

Last night after the seder, we sat on the couch to “chat”.

“Daddy, wanna see what I’m doing at work? It’s pretty cool…”

“Eh, that’s nice.”

“But daddy! I came up with all this! It’s live right now!”

“Yeah, but why’s it doing that? That doesn’t look right…”

“Thanks, dad. I’m pretty proud of it myself.”

It’s funny how for those 10 minutes on the couch, I was 10 years old again. Hitting those homeruns. Getting those good grades. I was 10 years old and so proud of myself…

But that man wasn’t my father.

Now, he is a shadow of himself. His jokes just aren’t as funny when you know they are all he has left. He can’t walk all that well. He doesn’t sleep through the night. I beg him, please don’t give up. Please live. For me. For mom.

He did compliment me on my dinner. He was grateful that I fed him. But there was no twinkle. No hug. No glow.

It wasn’t long ago that I realized that a big part of why I didn’t get along with my dad was because we were, in essence, the same person.

The only difference is I am young enough to change.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Winter says:

    I can relate, the only time my Dad and I ever really connected is when I played basketball in school.

    Now that I’m older things are different.

    Good luck.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  2. * I-66 says:

    My relationship with my father has fallen apart over the last 10 or 11 years so much it’s sad. I’m about as empathetic as I can be here.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  3. * Kristin says:

    I like my dad. We get along well, but he’s not even remotely paternal. I cannot imagine seeking his approval or his help for anything other than what one might expect from a friend she doesn’t see all that often. I’ve never really felt like I had a “dad.” I suppose I still don’t.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  4. * Helen Skor says:

    My life with my father . . . you just summed it up in a few short paragraphs. And for all the analysis I’ve done over the years of why my relationship with my dad has never been great (although some times have been better than others), I’ve reached the same conclusion as you: we are too much alike to get along. And like you, I’ve realized that I have to do something about it while I’m still young enough to change. But I still love him with all my heart, even though his emotional absence has hurt me over and over again through the years.

    Good luck to you.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  5. * carrie m says:

    fathers and daughters have such a weird relationship. Parents can be tricky in general, but it seems like fathers and daughters are especially interesting. The times when I feel the most comfortable with my dad is when we’re watching some sort of sports event. I feel better when his fiancee is there to be a buffer. Not because we don’t get along, but I just can’t talk to him the way I talk to even my stepdad. I have no point here. Beautiful post.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  6. * Jo says:

    Beautifully said. My father’s opinion means so much to me and I don’t even realize it until I’m standing there telling him something and feeling 13. I was the opposite way with him. When I was young we’d fight to the point of getting in each other’s faces and yelling. Now we get along beautifully. It’s weird how that happens.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  7. * Average Jane says:

    Knowing that all of you not only appreciate my experience, but know my experience… have lived it… well, it just makes me feel so much more at peace. We are not our parents. We are a product of them and all they have given up for us, all they have given us, and all they still have to give. They are our past, our present, and our future. But they are not us. We have the power to be more than they are… more than they had the opportunity to be. Thanks for all the kind words.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  8. I’ve written about my dad before…my relationship with him went the other way; terrible at first and amazing now. I’m sorry to read this, but I loved the note you ended on.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago

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