Friday, August 8, 2014

The ties that bind

I'm getting ready to change offices. Actually, my whole office is about to move to a new building. We've been steadily working on pruning down all of the stuff that we're not taking with us, throwing away things we don't need to move, etc.
In cleaning out my credenza, I found this:

It's a 6 year old's version of a pop-up book.  The front and back look like a house (our house) and inside are all of the people and animals who live in it.

Yeah, still blurring out the kiddo's name, even though she's an adult now.  I'm still amazed at the detail she used to give how she really tried to capture the patterns of the cats' fur. And she made sure to show that one of her hermit crabs lived in a shell with a flower painted on it.

Also?  You may notice that her dad has earrings.  That's because he had recently gotten them.  Baby girl had wanted earrings SOOOOOO bad. But she was EXTREMELY terrified of anything even remotely needle-like.  We had taken her twice to get her ears pierced and she backed out.  Finally, she was in the ear-piercing chair, and Jeff said, "What if I do it first, so you see it isn't so bad?"
So that's how she finally got through it.  Jeff and daughter sat side by side, and the lady pierced Jeff's right ear...then Kiddo's right ear. Boy, she did NOT like that sensation at all!  But then her dad was all, "You're not gonna leave me like this with one earring are you??? Come on, I'll do the other one if you'll do the other one."  And so they did.
And she thought it was the coolest thing ever that her DAD had earrings.
We live in and around quite a conservative bunch, but Jeff proudly wore earrings.  And in every picture the Kiddo would draw of the family, her dad always had earrings on. I need to add that her scale was a little off...he really wore very discreet, small hoops usually. The 80's door-knocker look that he's sporting in the picture above was more to make sure everyone could tell she'd drawn him with his earrings than a true representation of how big they were.

And if I had to, in a nutshell, pick a story out to try and describe their relationship (as I see it), it is this story.  Jeff would do anything for the kiddo. Anything at all.  I am sure that he would lay down his life for any number of among them.  But only for his daughter would he get his ears pierced and proudly wear earrings for the rest of his life.  Sometimes the two of them (they are very, very alike) have trouble discussing their feelings for each other.  Jeff, in particular, has a hard time being "mushy".  I know part of it is that he's a man, and part of it is that she's a teen (though rapidly leaving the teen years).  But a huge part of it is just...that's the way they are.

When we took her to move into her dorm yesterday, it finally came time to say our "good-byes". Kiddo had warned us that everyone got one hug...not too long of one either (she's not very touchy-feely). Her best friend came with us and insisted on getting photographic proof that she'd gotten a hug.

Can you tell that she's barely tolerating it?
Then came my turn...which I'm sure you guessed ended with me blubbering and snotty.  After several rounds of "Are you going to be okay?" from everyone, Jeff hugged her and said his goodbye,

Jeff: "I love you, baby."

Kid: "Love you too"

Jeff: "Just remember, I'm leaving a little part of me here."

Kid: "Why? Did you fart into my couch cushions?"

He will cherish that bit of smart-assery for the rest of his life.


  1. that's some fine parenting! What a good mom and dad your kid has!

    So...she started school....are you good?

    1. I'm upright and than I thought I'd be. :)

      Still having moments when I'm verklempt. did I spell that right? I'm Baptist, not Jewish.

  2. You spelled it right. I never knew that story about Jeff! That is true love right there. Sending you hugs and love from Texas...I know my day is coming sooner than I expect!

    1. Gurl! You are not prepared. You can start right now, and you will still not be prepared.