Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What matters

I was chatting online with my friend Gene the other night. He asked me a question, which I haven't been able to get out of my head. He asked, and I won't say this is a direct quote, but he asked me: When are you going to write something that will matter to your daughter in 30 years?

Gene is a dear friend, one whom I respect and admire in no small part because of his ability to cut through the bullshit and say what's on his mind. His candor is refreshing and I've often smiled at the things he has said to others in conversation. I love seeing him call others on their bullshit.

I didn't, however, relish the experience too much myself.

Oh, Gene is right of course. I've stretched out inconsequential posts about the weather and electronic toys well beyond the point where anyone should give half a damn about anything posted here. Lord knows I haven't cared much myself, as perhaps has become evident by the infrequent posts.

I haven't been reading many blogs lately either, but in the last couple of days I've tripped over a couple of posts that left me saying to myself, "Wow, why didn't I do that (or at least something like it)?"

Gene has a couple of posts on his site comparing homophobia and misogyny, which seems like a worthy topic to explore in some depth. Why is our culture so willing -- eager even -- to put women and homosexuals down? Why is that the easy joke at the cocktail party to poke fun at the feminine or effeminate?

3T has a recent serious of posts on her site that also left me slack-jawed. She had a four-part post, to which her husband has added a postscript, detailing a difficult time in their relationship. It was full of raw emotion and poetic descriptions of the pain people who love each other can inflict on each other and the forgiveness and hope that seems to only follow for a rare few. Many people would flee that kind of anguish rather than using it as an obstacle to overcome together.

Pretty courageous stuff.

And I'm ashamed that I've spent so much of the last few months trying to hide in the public light of the World Wide Web. Instead of trying to use this space to some purpose, I leave it here untended while I sob quietly into a can of cheap beer over my own failures as a romantic partner and as a parent and whatever else the whine de jour may be.

So when will I write something that will matter to my daughter in 30 years? Well, I certainly never started this blog with the intention of my daughter reading it now or ever and that hasn't changed.. But the truth is I've spent nearly 15 years trying to figure out how to say or write something for my daughter that would help her understand why I had missed so much of her childhood.

How to you explain unconditional love to a young woman, your child, who was responsible for teaching you what it meant in the first place? This she did by the simple miracle of coming into this world and being there to be loved.

And the simple fact is I'm just not there enough to tell her or to show her.


3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

I'd say you have a poignant beginning right here. I also understand what you're saying G-Man. It's scary to lay open the truths and write from the heart. It's vulnerable, and damn it 's scary! And it is liberating as well.
Thank you for your thoughtful mention, my friend. What I wrote was written knowing my children may one day read it. Instead of fearing it, I came back to something my father has told me all his life. Honesty, the truth, will set you free.
I've had my blog up for well over a year, before I got the nerve up, to open up like that.
So know that when you feel the urge to reveal truths and your heart to your daughter, it will be good! And I've no doubt at all, your readers will support you in that process.
BIG (((HUGS))) to you!


GRT said...


If she has access to a computer, she's probably already read most of it.

A newspaperman has access to information which others don't have. A newspaperman is in the unique position to bequeath his philosophies to posterity.

Go get 'em, Tiger!

Tish said...

As a wife that has endured 7 rollercoaster years of marriage and made the next 4 better, 3T's journey was felt deeply. Very couragous posting there.
As for YOU, postponing heartfelt essays to your daughter is communicating to her, just not what you want to convey, I would think.
Write her a letter every day, jot a few 'confusius say' lines, something that she will cherish more than you can know. You don't have to be Hemingway or Dr Phil, just her DAD. Parenting is emotional bloodletting for the rest of your life. Guess it's your turn to donate.

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