The “R” word

10 11 2010

Responsibility.  How many of you just shuddered?  A big word with many hidden meanings.   A frightening word at times and to some.  Not a word that was always associated with me.

I for many years avoided the “R” word with a passion.  I was quite good at it.  preferring to leave that to others while I continued to not grow up.  Many facets of our lives avoid responsibility from ourselves to our children to our friends and to our government.  Life and love lead me to responsibility and also the realization that I don’t have to completely grow up to be responsible, I could still be a fun loving kid at heart.

Sydney, my little girl is a 10-year-old now.  She is growing and becoming the beautiful young lady I had hoped for.  My responsibilities with Sydney are vast from providing shelter and food to keeping her safe from harm and encouraging her interest in her faith and so much more.  The one we are encountering now is kind of like mentoring.  Jenny and I (Dawn and Rick too) are molding a young child to be all they can be, a much improved “mini me” (Dr. Evil I am not), eager to go where ever her heart takes her in life, with daddy by her side, guiding, teaching, loving, forgiving and respecting. 

We had one of our talks the other day about school and homework.  I am allowing Sydney to be more responsible, ouch man, that means she is growing up.  She is a very good student and most of the time an incredible manager of her studies and homework.  She gets into the occasional rut, normally with a class that isn’t as interesting to her but comes out of it quickly.  I have decided this year that she knows what she needs to do to get the job at hand done (subject of our talk).  I monitor her work but it is up to her to be proactive in doing her school work and performing at the level she is capable of.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing slips through the cracks, with the help of her 3 teachers I know exactly what is coming home to be done and what is coming up this week at school.  She is doing well.

Yesterday we had another one of our talks.  It was brought up as we exited the bowling alley heading home.  I questioned her about some up coming science work and got a typical cocky 10-year-old answer that I didn’t like so I said “we will have a talk about this” which suddenly appeared to be the most frightening words in the world to a 10-year-old girl.  She got quiet, pouty, whiny and on the verge of tears.  Oh boy.  We  had a good talk, but first I had to figure out why she was feeling this way.  She told me when I want to have “talks” she thinks she  might be in trouble(very new and frightening concept for a very good little girl).  I asked a lot of questions and comforted her.  She understands that there will come a time in her life where she is in trouble with me, I told her it is part of growing up, she also understands that I will forgive her and always love her.  Finally she looks up at me with eyes of an angel and said that she just never wanted to be in trouble.  Hugs and kisses ensued.  I didn’t sugar coat the reality that it will happen and that she will know right away and that we will work through it and learn from it.  I also let a secret out of the bag (no I did not tell her the kinds of trouble I stirred up) I explained that in our talks I am allowed to be right until she is 18, then she can choose.  I also explained that somewhere in her teens she will probably think I am stupid and know nothing and somewhere in her early 20’s will come to the conclusion I was right.  All along talking and explaining our sides and feelings.  We (Sydney, Jenny and I) are a team, a family and I just happen to be the captain right now.

As a father I guess I am letting go a little.  But do fathers ever really let go?  My father has not, our Father has not and this father…yeah not going to happen.

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