Sunday, June 17, 2012

When You Realize Your Dad Understands You

My dad taught me how to drive.
And that was no easy feat let me tell you.

My first time behind the wheel at fifteen years old, we started in a parking lot. With drivers' ed looming, I felt terrified at my lack of ANY skills behind the wheel, so my dad decided to ease me in. His dad tagged along too, so it was a multi-generational driving lesson.

Did I mention I was terrified?

Well, the way it played out, my fear became QUITE obvious as I would stop IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD for cars coming the OPPOSITE direction, but my dad was SO patient with me and somehow we made it through the day.

Dad understood that I needed time to find my place of calm.

A few months later, my friends and I, working together doing a church internship, took our break times to study for our permit exam. I was nervous, of course, so my friend, David, and I were just helping the other two study, but my dad was our driver to the test, so in his laid-back, no pressure, you-can-try-ONLY-if-YOU-want-to way, I decided to take it. All FOUR of us walked out that day with shiny badges of newbie drivers. As much fun as it was to achieve this milestone with my good friends, I love the fact that my dad was the one who orchestrated the day for us all.

Dad understood that just "being there" made all the difference in the world.

So then one day I had my full-fleged license.
Oh joy of all joys!
Independence and Freedom!

Except for the whole one year of that Cinderella, mandated-by-law, be-in-by-midnight thing-y...but that is plenty of time for a sixteen year old, right?

Right? should have been...but then I got a boyfriend and liked to hang out at his house until the LAST POSSIBLE SECOND....and one night I creeped into the house about 5 minutes after midnight.

And there was my Dad.
Waiting. On the couch.
Grilling me with questions.

Where were you? 
Why are you late? 
Don't you know that you could have gotten in a lot of trouble? 

And then a lecture.

I listened with angst and frustration and then quickly excused myself to my room as tears began to pour down my face, while I ranted to the stuffed animals, "I'm a good kid. I don't drink or smoke or run around with lots of boys. I can't believe I am getting in trouble for being 5 MINUTES LATE!!"

With anger and indignation, I stomped around my room putting clothes away with a viscous passion, until suddenly I heard my dad's baritone voice from my bedroom doorway, "Lindsey?"

"Come in," I said, with my back to the doorway, unwilling to look at him face to face.

"Come here," he said. And with great effort, I forced myself to turn around and walk over to where he stood.

"I'm sorry for getting so upset with you about being late." Now my tears were truly rolling.

"I just do not want you to get in any trouble. If a cop stopped you after midnight, you could have your license taken and I just do not want you to take any chances. I don't want you to have to go through that. I do trust you, and you are a good kid."

I cried. We hugged.
It was one of those Hallmark moments.

Dad understood that I needed the affirmation AS WELL as the correction.

It's kinda funny because my dad is a man of few words and especially as a teenager, I often felt like he never quite "got" me or at the very least did not know what to do with my sensitive heart.

But one day, in my twenties, I overheard him saying, "Lindsey doesn't care about being right, she just wants to be understood." 

And in that moment, I felt such validation.

From teaching me to drive, helping me {AND my friends} get our licenses, challenging me to be and do my best in every circumstance and a hundred other little things over the years, that my dad saw through this little Anne-of-Green-Gables heart to the woman who wanted to connect with other's hearts.

My dad REALLY understands me.
And THAT no easy feat.

I love you, Dad!
Thank you for well....


A daughter may outgrow your lap, 
but she will never outgrow your heart. 
~ Author Unknown


Carole said... Best Blogger Tips

Nice tribute to your Dad.

Delmasgent said... Best Blogger Tips

I guess I have something in my eye. They seem to be a little watery.

ddm said... Best Blogger Tips

A wonderful tribute to a wonderful man. 

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