Friday, May 25, 2012


Today, my dad turns 50 :O

My dad and I used to be really close. Like he was one of my best friends and probably my favorite person in the world. But for some reason over the past couple of years we've started to become distant. I barely ever see him now; he has a lot of meetings to go to, and I'm gone more evenings than I'm home. {A license will do that, I'm beginning to realize.}

His memory and hearing have also gotten worse than EVER, so even when we do talk it's pretty much just an endless stream of frustration and impatience from me.

When we do talk, it's mostly about my not doing chores or not putting forth enough effort to get into Wake Forest. {Both are quite legitimate complaints on his part.}

Earlier this week, we scheduled a trip to Wake Forest and my mom couldn't go. So it would be just me and my dad in the car alone together for an hour and a half. I wasn't dreading it or anything, but I wasn't particularly happy about it either.

We went out to the car and he got in the passenger seat. Alright then, guess I was driving.

I made a playlist of Coldplay and Florence + the Machine and we drove for a while.

Then suddenly--and I'm literally not even sure how this came about--we started talking. We skipped every form of small talk and surface chatter and went straight and sure into the deep stuff I'm dealing with.

My lack of motivation in life
My apathy towards all hobbies except dance
My secret hiatus from Christianity
My desire to live without boundaries
My fear of being a bad role model

All of that was thrown right out in the open, willingly, by me. I'm not sure what happened, but suddenly I was talking about all that, in a low, even voice.

Daddy: "Wow. I've been feeling the exact same way."


I'm sorry, what?

Suddenly we were equals. It wasn't liked talking to my pastor or my teacher or even my father. It was like talking to a new friend. He didn't have all the answers, and for once in my life he was being totally open about that. He wasn't even PRETENDING to know what was up in order to help me through my crises.

It was almost unnerving. My perfect dad was telling me that he sometimes wanted out of this life; that he was fed up and didn't always feel like being a Christian; that he could understand why people got drunk.

Daddy: "...I probably shouldn't have said that >.> *laughs*"
Me: "Maybe not. But I think it would have been worse not to."

We talked about not wanting to do ANYTHING, not even NOTHING.
We talked about running away and living on a farm and growing food and that's all.
We talked about why we think God exists.
We talked about wanting to get away from your own self.

I even brought up this idea I've been having for a while: moving out and renting a house with friends.

Me: "Like with Cassidy and Sam...and Daniel or something..."

Expected reaction: "Hm, that's probably not the best idea. Especially you and Sam."

Actual reaction: "That would be AWESOME! In fact, I know a neighborhood that would be really cool to do that in. ...wanna go see it?"

Me: "Wh--I mean, yes!"

So we actually did that. We drove to this neighborhood near the college that I'll probably end up going to for a year and looked around. It's kind of awesome. Old and small and borderline-sketchy.

Daddy: "This is the perfect kind of place to rent a house like that. It would be so cool. I mean, the electricity would be temperamental and the plumbing wouldn't work right..."

Me: "Yeah! That actually sounds fun to me...hilarious 2AM stories and freaking out trying to fix things ourselves..."

Daddy: "Right?!"

It actually took him a little while to realize that it's weird for girls and guys to live together like that {especially when two of them are dating and one of them is his daughter}. He was genuinely disappointed when his sense of morality came back and he realized this.

Daddy: "Well dang. Maybe you could get houses NEXT to each other. That would still be cool."

We never exactly solved anything the whole car ride. We didn't come to a great conclusion about why we're dissatisfied with life, or why I should resume my life as a Christian, or how I should rent a house, or why I should try extra hard to get into Wake Forest.

We actually didn't even talk to anyone at Wake Forest, which was the entire point of the trip. The whole admissions staff was on retreat. But I'm almost positive that the reason Daddy and I drove to Wake Forest had nothing to do with my college future. God had something much more important in mind to fix.

He brought one of my best friends back into my life :) No, he introduced me to a totally new one. I love my dad, and I used to think he was great, but I've never felt so able to express myself to him than I did that Tuesday afternoon. I never stopped loving him, but now I LIKE him again. He's back to being a person that I would intentionally spend time with and tell things to.

Thanks for being so...awesome, Daddy. I love you. And happy fiftieth birthday!



  1. Me and my dad talk about stuff like that all the time! He is the one who explained many things to me about his opinion on presidential debates, the kkk, world war II, the vietnam war, and gas prices. *sughs* I love my dad. I REALLY enjoyed reading this :)


  2. It's really nice when that happens, when we can see our parents as just people no different than us rather than the people with all the power and answers.

    Regarding your uncertainty of continuing as a Christian I will only add this: You may feel it's difficult to continue walking that narrow road, but if you leave it and later desire to return, that trip could be even more difficult.

    Matthew 7:13,14