As I’ve mentioned, my Mom married my Dad when I was 7. And for a while we were in a bit of a weird place. I was kindof-but-not-realllly happy that we just married this guy. And moved far away from my best friend and next door neighbor.
This little girl who grew up seven years without this man in her life and suddenly they were family. And this man who was a longtime bachelor finally got married and along with her came a child.
It was dicey for a bit. Not gonna lie. We didn’t know how to connect. He didn’t know how to little girl and I most certainly did not get him. He had a way. A sense of humor that was… different. It’s like he had the emotional capacity to express his feelings of a pre teen. Except forever.
When I was younger I can remember him trying to compliment me.
“Someone finally learned how to put on makeup” meant “your makeup looks nice”
“Someone learned how to dress” means “you look nice”
You might be thinking “your Dad sounds like a dick!!!” But he wasn’t. In his mind I think he was high fiving himself over totally nailing his complimemt!
And then get an eye roll or an unwanted reaction. Which left him confused.
I don’t think that my Dad received alot of praise or mushy gushy anything growing up so to him this was a pretty foreign concept.
Over time he and I found a common ground, softball, and built from that. We became closer – so much so that he adopted me and I officially became his daughter. And was TRULY thrilled. Still though – the way he showed his most affectionate feelings were a squeeze on the shoulder or top of knee and would say “you ok?” Or “love ya” and that meant <insert whatever mushy feelings possible here>
Until finally we reached a place of REALLLLY getting eachother. Right or wrong another way we figured out a way to connect was to rip on eachother. All the time. And I felt victorious if I got the last word in leaving him speechless in his smirk.
Then I became a Mom. Of two girls. And the awkward continues. And the cycle of not knowing how to little girl started allllll over. From pointing and telling them to “look!!” and stealing their gummy bears to dunking them in the pool… the girls just did NOT get him!
I think us girls: Mom, Hannah, Hailey and I taught him. We taught him that it was ok to be snuggly. And mushy. Even if all he could do at the moment was a shoulder grab as he was finding his way with each of us. Or when he didn’t know what to say but wanted to say SOMETHING that it would all come out wrong. We got him.
And for us he turned up our senses of humor. We have the senses of humor (inappropriate or not) that we have today because of his.
We got eachother. And to me there is not many feelings quite as wonderful as being “got”. It wasn’t immediate. It was a bit of work. Work to allow ourselves to go out of our comfort zones to know another way. And his way, as goofy and awkward as it was, blessed us all. So deeply. He put a lil sass in us and we put ALOT of affection on him. We filled holes in each-other’s hearts that we never knew we had💓💓