Last week #1 and I went on a date. It was a lot of fun especially since she has grown so much. We were having real life conversations and I really enjoyed it. During dinner I realized how much like her mother she is. To give you an idea of how cool this kid is, below are some of the topics we covered…
She doesn’t like it so she asks me what every kid asks their parents when they hate something…”When you were a kid, did you like it?” I honestly replied that I did not like it either and that I understood where she was coming from. I asked her why she didn’t like it. I won’t share all the reasons but one was really interesting to me. She said that she was the only one in her class that doesn’t go to a Korean church. Two thoughts on this.
First, I think it is so cool that my girl understands something a lot of adults don’t get. Our church is not a Korean church. Yes we have a lot of American born Koreans but we have a significant number of people who are not Korean. There are a lot of Asians but we are not a Korean church. I don’t know why it made me so happy she understood that. It’s probably because some of the people she loves at our church are not Korean and some are. Most people who come to our church just label it without taking time to find out more about the ethos of our community. I was grateful that my girl understood who we really are and who we are trying to be as a church.
Second, I learned that while #1 wants to be different, she doesn’t want to be too different. I thought it was really cool she knew this about herself. Maybe I am making too much of it but I felt like she articulated something most adults could not do…our desire to be noticed and different but not too different. I see so many junior/senior high students, college students, and younger adults who don’t see this dynamic at work in their hearts. Ok, ok. Time to move on. I think everyone knows I think #1 is awesome.
During dinner #1 asked me why I asked her about ice cream last week (I wrote a blog about their ice cream tastes). My heart started racing…oh no…is this the end of my blogging career? Will she ask to read it? Will she be uncomfortable with the idea that I write about our family? So I told her the truth and explained that I blog about our family. She asked what blog was and I did my best to explain. She asked, “Can I read it?” I said o….k…. While I was stalling, she said, “Your iPhone is right there, let me read it now.”
So she read the HIGH ROLLERS entry. She started smiling and laughing. She knew immediately the # assignment I give each kid. After she was done, she said, “It’s good. I like it. It’s funny.” I asked her if it was okay with her that I do this and she said it was cool. Whew. Hobby still intact. Let’s just hope she doesn’t one day start a blog about parents. That would suck.
BEING NOT DOING
After dinner we walked around Old Town. I kept asking her, “What do you want to do? This? That?” She kept shrugging her shoulders. After about fifteen minutes of trying to go certain places I got kind of annoyed and asked again, “What do you want to do? Why won’t you answer me?”
She says, “I don’t know daddy. I just want to be with you. We don’t have to DO anything. I like this.”
I was humbled. It is amazing to me how relationally dysfunctional we are as adults. We have so much baggage we lose sight of such basic things. It was hard for me to just “be” because I am so caught up in “doing”. After my daughter’s comment I smiled, held her hand, and we just walked. Not too much talking (we did a lot of that during dinner). Before her last comment I took her to the bookstore because she loves it. I thought she would run off and read kids books so I could read cookbooks. Didn’t work. She wanted to be with me. I took her to the Apple store because she loves games and thought she would get into it while I played with the iPad. We looked at iPads together but when I walked to the other side of the store, she immediately put down her iPad and followed me.
Looking back I am really glad she spoke into my life about the importance and legitimacy of just being family rather than getting caught up with all the bells and whistles of consumerism, entertainment, media, and technology. I realized that night that #1 needed time with me. In the past it (our dates) was just something she liked. This time she needed it. I am glad I was able to be there for her. It was a special day.