Note:  I have a habit of writing miles and miles of blog posts that never get published.  And then every time I upgrade my computer (or run a two-year backup, or change which hard drive is my primary storage) one of my most offensive habits is dumping the entire contents of “My Documents” into a date-labeled folder to be stored on a backup drive until I can find time to organize it – time which never seems to come.  Until now…

I spent most of Sunday morning cleaning out those old electronic folders and stumbled upon what I call “the vault” – the folders where my writings (the good and the bad) have ended up.  I had fun browsing through the old memories (some as ancient as 2006) and gagged a little over the idiocy of some posts that weren’t worth writing, much less keeping for years on end.  At any rate, several potential posts rose to the top.  Those that offered the slightest hint of inspiration were moved to the newest hard drive where I will dust them off one by one and make them presentable. 

My most favorite memory of my dad is an odd one…I was 15 years old and had disobeyed him and gotten caught red-handed.  We stood in the kitchen and discussed why the rule was as it was, why I had disobeyed, and what my punishment was to be.  It was an excruciating conversation, because more than anything I hated to disappoint people.  I was ashamed of myself, both for breaking a rule and for getting caught.  Wounded pride is more effective than a wounded butt.  My daddy was my hero, and my hero told me something that blew my mind. In the middle of deciding the punishment, my dad said to me, “I don’t really know what to do either.  I have never been the father of a 15-year old girl before.”   I couldn’t argue that point, but I pondered it for years.  For as long as I had known him, he had the answer to everything.  He knew everything.  He was the fixer of broken things.  How could he say to me that he didn’t know what to do?!!!  Most people would consider an admission such as this to be a sign of weakness.  But it took incredible strength to say this to me, and I knew it immediately.  I had grown up watching him assist stranded people, call attention to a clerk giving him too much change, and help absolutely anyone who asked.  He minces no words, plays no political games, and bends the rules for no one.  His saying that one sentence to me on that Sunday night in our kitchen reinforced everything I knew about him and everything I would come to think of him in the future.  For so very long in my mind he was Superman.  But he showed me in that one instant that he was not Superman, wasn’t perfect, didn’t always have the answers.  And that was okay, because it meant that as I became an adult, I didn’t always have to have the answers either.  That night, Daddy and I decided together what my punishment would be.  It was an easy sentence, but had more lesson in it than anything I had experienced to that point, or since.  He showed me that more important than having the answer is understanding each other, and finding the answer together.

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