So, this one time, I woke up on a topless beach. I stumbled out from the dark cabin, looked around and noticed everything wasn’t quite right. Eye-rubbing, yawning, squinting… all failed to erase the view, lots of women without clothes on, lazing around a beach. I was probably 8, my chaperone on this auspicious occasion? My Daddy.
I recently started reading some creative writing blogs, because I thought it might help with my writing. One author, C.S. Harris, said that when you introduce a character, you should always show that character first in his/her element, to show the forces that propel said character. For instance, if your character bakes, they should be placed first in a kitchen.
Since this is the first blog post exclusively about my Daddy, I’m telling you something right off the bat about him. I’m placing him, first, on a topless beach, surrounded by evergreens, on the shores of the San Jacinto river, just down the mottled sandy shore from a alco-hut that sold a giant margarita to an 8-year-old, to take to her dad in the boat.
That’s not the right foot to start on, but it does say something about how I came to know my daddy. It’s how his character was introduced to me, in those formative years.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. -Proverbs 22:6
My daddy isn’t a bad person, and he cares for me. I think he always has. Now, our relationship is fine. I wouldn’t say we’re the closest father/daughter duo, but there’s no weirdness there. The problem isn’t that we don’t have a relationship, it’s that those early interactions started us going down the wrong path. We didn’t establish a clear parent/child line of demarcation. I sometimes felt, even at 8, that I was more responsible for him than he was for me.
It’s difficult to overcome one’s upbringing. That’s why the Scripture is clear on this point. If you start children on the right path, they’ll recognize that path and stick to it. If the basis of your relationship is shifting sand, the foundation is less sure.
Have you ever recovered from a rough start to a relationship?