Last Sunday, I was waffling groggily through my day of rest when my daughter walked into the room all batty-eyed and sweet-smiley, explaining, “I don’t have any clothes for vacation and we leave next week…” letting her words hang for a long, dramatic pause, she continued, looking shyly at the floor, “I have some of my own money, can we go to the…”
I knew where this was going, and I had no desire to go there, but for some reason my expression would not follow my desire.
“Lanie, I’m not doing anything tonight; I’m tired.” I was hoping that my excuse would suffice to end the conversation, but knew that my resolve was no match for the salesmanship of a 16-year-old girl hoping for a daddy-daughter shopping trip.
“Let’s go,” she said calmly and confidently with an I know you love me look on her face.
“No,” I said, chuckling at her persistence and ability to skillfully assume that she could convert my “no” into a “yes.” Knowing, she had me on the ropes, and playing heavily on a father’s emotion, she sweetly said, “you know you want to take me shopping, right?”
“Get ready,” I said in a quiet voice of defeat, “but if you take forever in the store, I’m leaving you there.” I tried my best to sound serious.
The trip itself went off exactly as I had imagined it would: me, fidgeting outside a dressing room for hours, at store in which there was nothing I was interested in, occasionally pointing out that a dress was too short, or a blouse too low- pretty typical if you’ve ever been shopping with a sixteen-year-old daughter.
I had no idea how much fun I was actually having until the next day. As I looked back on this trivial and insignificant, event, I was struck by something quite bizarre. It occurred to me that though I had absolutely no desire to go spend an evening shopping with a teenage girl, my memory of the event was good one.
It struck as a real blessing that I could enjoy something I did not enjoy, just because I got to “not enjoy” it with my beloved daughter.
It is moments like these that we as parents cherish because, on some semi-conscious level, we know that these types of experiences grow fewer and farther between.
It’s a strange thing how our children do the one thing we work so hard to help them accomplish, but can’t stand it when they do; They grow up.
As I write this, I am filled with an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness for the UN enjoyable moments with the ones I love.