I don’t want you…

white and black soccer ball on side of green grass field during daytime

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Kids. They can be so confusing.

When my daughter was really young she used to tell me that she “didn’t want me.” I, of course, knew she was mad at me and knew that she wasn’t really speaking truth, at least the truth of a 2-3 year old.

Now I find myself in the later years, as she is a teen, saying more things that start with, “I don’t want you…”

Most of the time is related to a request for her independence and I respect that. I shouldn’t need or want to do everything for her. I am willing to let her explore things on her own and allow her the freedom to have success and to make mistakes. I may not always be happy about the choices, but they are hers to make. I can, of course, choose not to honor the “I don’t want you…” if I know the choice or decision isn’t in her best interest and is dangerous.

She now has a job. It’s doing something she likes (kinda, kids don’t really like to work) and in a sport she has enjoyed for a long time. She has been reffing soccer games for the parks and rec. For the most part, she has enjoyed it and she has been successful at it this year.

I once said, shortly after she got the job, that I was going to come watch her some time. Her response was, “Dad, I don’t want you to come watch me ref games.” When asked why she said that was just weird, that parents aren’t supposed to go to their kids’ place of work just so they can watch them. OK, get that. We visited my son at Taco Bell shortly after he got his first job just to tease him a little but it wasn’t to sit and watch him during his whole shift.

So, to honor her request, I have stayed away. Part of me wants to go watch her and be proud of the job she does, but I can also do that just sitting at home. I don’t have to see her to know she is doing the best she can, really enjoying what she is doing at the time, and be proud of her too. Right?

Am I correct in honoring her “Dad, I don’t want you…”?


Why can’t kids come with a damn instruction manual?

white and black soccer ball on side of green grass field during daytime

There she goes

silhouette of girl running on the seashore during golden hour

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Strange things have been happening around here. My little one has turned 16 and a new form of freedom is upon us both.

I love it!

I hate it…

It feels very weird. I mean really weird.

Yesterday, after having her license for three whole days, was the first time she got in a car and drove away by herself. There was no one in the car…except her…

After 16 years, it is time to do a little letting go and I have to admit it is scary. I mean, I love watching my daughter grow and mature and become her own person, but inside the pride is mixed with hurt. Not the kind of hurt that is caused by someone that has done something to you, but a hurt that just aches because you know the “little girl” is gone.

It was surreal watching her drive away. Away to a place of her choosing. She has many more destinations ahead of her and I am not going to be able to protect her as she goes.

Man, growing old is tough. These new adventures my daughter is taking me on are tough.

There she goes…