As you know, I am an animated and verbose person. Those traits have served me and hindered me. I have used my personality to convey meaning, to articulate finer points, to debate, and to WIN. I fear that I have also used my wordiness to overwhelm, as a defense mechanism to keep others at bay. When someone gets too close, overwhelm them with words – that sort of thing. I have actually pushed people away with my language skills. My greatest fear is that I have sometimes alienated my children.
Your sister came to me last year. She said, “Dad, my son was fighting at school. Now I have to go talk to the principle and the teacher.” She sank in a chair, dejected. That time I was smart enough to keep quiet for a few moments. You know me – in the old days I would have volunteered to go to the school for her. I would have asked to speak to the Principal, the Teacher, the student my boy was fighting with, and I would have liked to have a visit with that boy’s father too! This time I was briefly baffled. Your sister has a degree in Psychology from George Mason University. She has been a parent for several years. I realized that she knew what to do. She already knew what to say to the school officials. She did not need my advice…. I just hugged her. I told her I loved her. I told her I was proud of her as a parent. She sank in my arms and said, “Thanks Daddy.” She had not called me Daddy in ten years.
She did not need my advice. She needed my love and affirmation. Like all of us – she needed the affirmation of a parent.
You and I communicate by this blog. There is a loss of intimacy. We lose the non verbal stuff that hugs are made of. Write to me. Sometimes I will not have anything to say – I will just want to hug you.