Role Reversal

Well I like to consider myself someone who doesn’t get easily upset and has strong emotions. There is very little I let rock me. The one area I tend to fail is that of my father. I have had plenty of relationships and never had any problem being angry, but “hurt” not much. Daddy can hurt my feelings quicker than instant grits. I hate this. Distance makes it difficult to ever see him much, but we rarely talk either. Being the one that most often reaches out grows old.

There are plans that we make for holidays and birthdays, they don’t typically happen as planned. Frustration after so many broken plans sets in with siblings and it just becomes much harder to get together. I take on the job of setting things up and getting everyone notified and then canceled, and then rescheduled. I just gave up on this. I no longer want to be the one, only one, trying to have family time.

Having not seen my father for approximately seven or eight months maybe, I called to inquire about the Christmas gifts I still had sitting in my living room for him and his family. My oldest daughter had gifts and had asked if they had received them yet. We set plans for an early dinner close to me for today. I didn’t share with anyone because I didn’t want to have to call and let everyone know that once again we would have to cancel. Surprisingly they arrived on time and things were nice.

If you know my father well enough, you know that the only way he shows anyone that he likes them is to be fun and sarcastic. I am okay with this and can sometimes let his words slide off of my back. Not tonight. Almost as soon as he sat he made a comment that cut me deep. The entire conversation is just a blur. The only thing that mattered was that he stated, “although she hardly talks to me”. Instant tears and defensive mechanisms on. I always feel that I am the only reason we talk at all. I always call and include them in things my kids do; school shows, parties, awards, health issues, everything. There is always a reason that comes up to not be there. Sometimes not even a call. We do live over an hour apart, but it isn’t the reason and I know it.

I can tell it catches him off guard that I am hurt so much and that I am crying. I actually feel badly for this. I tell him not to even say that, it’s not true. However, that’s it. Nothing more. I do not wish to make a conversation or anything more of it. It would be for no reason. I prefer to just let it be. After gaining my composure we finish dinner without any other bumps.

My father has always been the only man in my life that mattered to me. He is a wonderful father. He is big in size and heart and great with patience and understanding. The perfect daddy combo. I hate to think I had any part of disappointing him in anything I did or didn’t do in my life. I can only hope that knowing the role reversal we fall into through life from child to parent that I am the closest I think I actually am to being a good parent. I also want to be the best daughter I can be. Getting lost in being the parent can mean being lost as the daughter.

I love you Daddy.

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