Thursday, January 24, 2008
Update, for what it's worth....with MOVIES!
First off, I just want to be clear that this forum, this blog (what a horrible word) is something I do to keep people who are interested in Zoe's life up to date. It's about her, although, since I write it, I do sometimes use it as a place to voice my own thoughts and feelings. Most of which, if not all, are centered and surround my daughter, Zoe Mina. It's a fun way to post pix of my kid that I think everyone would like but it IS from the perspective of her father. From the perspective of a NEW father who loves being a DAD. Loves every part of it, be it feeding her, playing with her, laughing with her and changing her diapers. Being Elizabeth's father was an honor and a joy and I believe my relationship with her, during all of those years have come to define me as a man more so than anything else I have ever done. For I believe that men are not defined by the size of their wallets or the power they wield in the community, not by the ability to "put a roof over" someone's head or provide for a wife and children. I believe that the truest measure of a man are two things: Who they are and what they do in crisis and what kind of parent they are. I was very lucky. I had two that were amazing. A father I fought with from the moment I could talk and resented and hated and became my best friend in his last years as I learned his most important lessons, like never worry about what the rest of the world thinks of you, be yourself! And "your enemies will make you laugh and your friends will make you cry" Credos I have lived by. And what an amazing journey my life has been. Ask me about it sometime.
And a mother who taught me the importance of art and dreams and humanity and how to be a better man.
Above all those things I learned the most important lessons:
Boys learn how to treat women by watching their fathers treat their mothers and girls learn how to BE treated by watching their fathers treat their mothers.
When you are talking to your children, to just take a pause to remember what YOU were like at that age and be honest with yourself because kids can smell when you are lying and full of hypocrisy.
I put all those philosophies and others that I learned from many mentors and friends to work to be the best father to Elizabeth that I could be.
Now I get a second chance. With Zoe. Chance is the wrong word. I didn't do it wrong the first time, the kid just died before she got to show the world what a great adult she was going to be.
I get a chance to be Zoe's father. It is an OPPORTUNITY of the highest order. Because I don't believe that fatherhood (parenthood) is a burden, it's a privilege. At the end of the day, when I am long gone and dead, it isn't the memory and legacy of my parenting that I want from Zoe. I don't want to be mythologized and made hero by her. I want my guidance to have had a part in helping her be the best person she came be and live a life of joy, fun, adventure, with no regrets.
I can't understand why anyone would want anything different from their relationship with their kid. It's beyond me. It's why I do not tolerate physical or mental abuse of our children. They didn't ask to be born. Don't we have kids because we WANT them? Not everyone, I suppose, but I want the kids I have. They weren't accidents or tragedies, they weren't the cause of my problems or sadness (even though the greatest sadness I have ever known is due to one of my children).
All that said, all pontifications aside, (who the hell am I to tell the world how to treat their kids....you wanna hate 'em? You wanna beat 'em? You wanna call them names and talk about what horrible people they are? Go ahead, they're not mine. Just don't do it in front of me. Please.It makes me sad.) it's important to note that this forum is mine. I created it. I write it. I consult no one on it. I write it in solitude. Everyone that sees it, be they family members or friends don't see what I write until they happen upon it, or get their email update.
One day, many years from now, it is my hope that Zoe will be able to look at this as a living, real time depiction of her first years and what her father was thinking at the time. This is a different age. There's no reason for a child to grow up with parental mysteries and having to learn about them through misty anecdotes rendered hazy by time. It's blaringly real.
And Zoe gets to see herself through my eyes.
If I write anything here that upsets someone or is confusing or sounds like something it is not, I encourage those people to make the comment in the comment section or email me directly. It is not my intention to hurt anyone.
And I am sorry that some things I have said were taken as insult. They certainly weren't meant to be. And the offending remarks have been removed. Only because they were confusing. Not because they weren't true.
Whew. That was wordy. I will shut up now.
Here's some video of Zoe.
By the way, she's started chowing down on real solid stuff. Tonight it was diced potatoes and carrots from the pot roast and pot roast ITSELF! And she liked it! Which just makes me feel better about myself as a cook.