What makes a father proud of his child? Good grades? Taking out the trash without being asked? Cleaning up after oneself? Sure, all of these qualify. For me, I’ll add when my kids wanted to play the sport that I love. Then having the courage to say “Sorry, dad, I just don’t like soccer like you do.” Knowing that it might dissapoint me, yet still willing to make decisions based on their convictions, tempered the devastation I felt.
But I digress.
How about the kid who fell in love with books, and just wanted to be amazed? And then was so excited to get a book on release day that she dragged her father to the bookstore to wait in line for the latest book in a series? And then stayed up all night reading because she couldn’t put it down? Who was the proud poppa?
How about the kid who embraced the geeky side of her dad, wishing to share in his amazement, wonder, and hope of the future? The day after Christmas, I introduced my daughter to Doctor Who. We watched the Doctor battle enemies and his own personal demons. My daughter deciced to watch all of the Doctor episodes from 2005. And when she finished season 6, and realized Season 7 wasn’t on Netflix, used her own money and gift cards to buy all of Season 7 on iTunes.
And when she came to see me, tears in her eyes, asking why Rory and Amy had to leave, I felt the same punch in the gut when I had first watched that episode.
My daughter and I watch a few geeky shows together, like Warehouse 13, The Walking Dead, and now, Doctor Who. We discuss the events, characters, and the direction of the story. Seeing her talk about the things she likes about the story, what she would change, what she hopes might happen, makes me estatic. She is opening her mind to what can be – she only has to think it, to dream it.
So when that self-doubt creeps in, am i doing it right, am I too hard on her, not hard enough – I just remember the sense of wonder on her face. Her laughter when reading a book, or the loud “NOOO!” when something bad happens to her favorite character.
I’m that proud father.