Every now and then, I get the urge to talk about someone important in my life and tell why they’re important. Or, at least, get as close as I can.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not one of those dads who’ll say his daughter is perfect. She’s not. But I love her anyway, perhaps more so because I see so much of myself in her. And, like any parent, I wish I could spare her learning the lessons I had to learn. I try, of course. Who wouldn’t? But, in the end, the important point here is that she’s like me, and that means she has to learn the hard way. We’re both the kind of people who have to stick our hands in the fire to believe it burns. It’s not that we think you’re lying to us, it’s just that we have to experience it for ourselves to truly believe it.
Makes for an, um, interesting life.
Fortunately, my kid is smarter than I am, at least in some ways. Things I had trouble with, she’s already learned. But there are other things I want her to know that only come with age and experience. I guess that’s true with all parents and their children.
Ours is, if not a unique story, at least an unusual one. Her mother and I separated when Jesi was six months old, and, except for pictures, that’s the last time I laid eyes on her until she was eighteen. On top of that, we fell out of contact when she was three, so I totally missed fifteen years of her life. I tried at one point to find her, using one of those locator services, but it only went so far and then they wanted more money. I sensed a scam and let it be.
Sometimes I regret that. If I remember addresses right, they’d already found the right one, or were damn close to it.
But I gotta tell you, it was worth the wait. While I sometimes regret not paying that extra money, I also sometimes wonder if things worked out for the best. She and I are so alike in so many ways, it’s made us close as adults. But it’s possible we might have hated one another if we’d lived in the same house the entire time. We definitely would have butted heads a lot.
As it is, though, we’ve become very close since we got in contact in 2007, and I’ve enjoyed it so much.
For one, she’s so intelligent it scares me sometimes. I love talking to her, and I talk to her about a lot of things. Since she’s also a writer, I’ll go to her with plot problems, and she’s often helped me out of them, suggesting things I’d never even come close to thinking of.
She’s talented, too. She’s interested in cosplay and making costumes of all kinds, and last I talked to her about it, she wants to open up a costume store, maybe work in the movies. Of course, that last will be a tough one to do, and she’ll have to find a way to make herself stand out, but I have faith she can do it. She’s done some incredible costumes for her and her friends without any formal training, and now she’s going to college for such things as fashion design and makeup, among other things. Of course, I support her one hundred percent, even if I have little interest in such things.
But she’s interested in them, and I’m so interested in what she likes I’ve even asked if I could go to one of her conventions with her, at least for a day. I don’t want to do cosplay myself, but I’ve seen some awesome costumes online and it would be interesting to see some of it firsthand.
She’s not just my daughter, she’s my friend, and I love her from the bottom of my heart. And stay tuned to this space, because she’s just achieved something else I’m gonna crow about when I get the chance, but I gotta wait for her to announce it first. It’s her achievement, and I’m not about to steal her thunder.
I’m so glad you’re in my life, Jesi. I’ll love you forever.