On Quinn’s Second Birthday

Earlier today, we celebrated Quinn’s second birthday. My youngest daugher is officially less young than she used to be.

Her world will happen faster than mine.

And while she’s sleeping off a cupcake-induced late afternoon nap, I had the chance to catch up on today’s paper1. And read this.

And, yes, I watched the video. It was painful. On multiple levels.

This is just to say, mostly as a reminder to me, that when a father resorts to a public airing of grievances concerning his concerns over his daughter’s behavior, using the behavior he claims to despise, then he doesn’t win.

Or help.

And while it’s certainly not my place, nor am I able, to judge the father/daughter relationship here, I feel certain that this video, or the actions it captures, will not do much to improve the general state of relations between fathers and daughters.

There are people on both sides of a relationship. Even if the people are children. Still people. And all people should be treated a little better than that video represents.

And perhaps children sometimes are harder on their parents than the parents deserve. As the world flies to a place of ever-publicness, and the perpetual ease of slinging shots at each other through the public sphere will only grow, let’s be careful with what we’re slinging.

Teagan, isolated from the birthday party, feverish and lethargic, down with a cold and quarantined upstairs with an iPad and TV, reminded me today that she, not quite five, like all of my daughters, will never live in a world where the world isn’t ever-pulsing in a device a finger’s touch away. Part of my job, as a parent, is to create for them moments of boredom in a world of Everything-All-The-Time.

Boredom just happened in my youth. Connections were harder. The reverse is true for her. Her world will happen faster than mine. Time for sitting still and wondering will be something we will have to fight for more and more.

I wish that father and his daughter had some more of that time. I think it might’ve made a difference. I hope they find some soon away from the Facebooks and the YouTubes.

So, Quinn, and Ani, and Teagan, whatever is coming for us as father and daughters, let’s work very hard, all of us, to make sure it isn’t that. Let’s take time to talk and pause and be sure to honor each other, and to keep what might be better said offline offline.

Okay?

  1. That I only ever read electronically, so it won’t be “the paper” for much longer, I’m guessing. []
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