Thursday, June 27, 2013

Daddy's Little Girl by Katrina Lowell

When I was born some years ago, I was my Dad's everything- me and my bright eyes, curly hair, wide smile. We were in every picture together, he took me everywhere with him; we were inseparable.

As a toddler, it was the same thing. I had grown a bit now, with long skinny legs, a mouth full of chicklets for teeth, and the voice of a chipmunk. I was sweet, but had quite a bit of sass once in a while. I was energetic, the way my chicken legs would frolic through the various terrains like a puppy in a meadow. I had started school and my time with Dad had become reduced by four hours per day; at first that upset me, but I liked meeting new people and trying new things, so pre-school was a hit.

Then I grew more and more, becoming now a kid. Even taller and skinnier than before, I had  longer, straighter hair that had now started to be straightened by my mom to make it a lot easier to manage, and fully grown baby teeth with a big gap in the middle of which I had inherited from none other than my dad. I began elementary school and... things became a little difficult. Other than the work that I struggled with because I had been a "late bloomer," the kids just weren't very nice. However, I still kept a strong, vibrant personality and tried to keep a smile on my face no matter how hard things got; a big, awkward, crooked smile at that. My brother was born within this time frame and I was ecstatic- I begged for a sibling, with no idea of what it would entail. I had to lose my beloved cat Jessie since it would be hard for my parents to manage two young children AND a cat in a small apartment. This was easily my first heart break as a little girl. The hardest part of it all for me was losing the attention of my parents, especially my dad (who had always been home during the day since he worked night jobs) who's days were now centered around this new arrival. The day that I really felt the difference was when my grandma from my dad'd side video chatted us to see my brother and I ran away crying because she asked to see him but not to see me. I soon got over it, but Derrick (my brother) was not really a positive for me because he meant that I lost a little of something that I always had: Dad's undivided attention.

By my pre-teens, my figure had started to fill out, I now had braces to fix my teeth, and although my personality was still kinda jubilant- or at least tried to be. I had become "broken" to a certain extent due to repeated bullying. At this point, my relationship with my dad had become strained. I was getting older and I didn't really look up to him the way I had before. In some ways he seemed rougher, too. I didn't always see that youthful face with the kind eyes that was my dad, but more of a stricter, harsher, grizzlier man that negated any thoughts of making attempts to glue back the parts of our puzzle that started to fall apart.

Now I'm here in my teens and... well, my dad and I; our relationship feels non-existent. I mean, don't get me wrong, we do engage in conversations and share a laugh now and again, but although that looks like a peachy relationship to the outside world, on the inside I now find myself on a perilous search for "what was." When I think of my dad, I think of a tall man with a grizzly beard, and then it all stops there. Anything deeper is protected by this hard titanium shield that no matter how I try, I can't seem to get into. Sometimes I feel like I've got the right technique and that I might actually have a shot at cracking open the casing that my dad puts himself in, and then everything changes and I'm back to square one.

But, I do know a few things about my dad. He's a good father. He stops at nothing to protect my brother and me; even if that meant fighting for me when I'm guilty, he still comes in like Superman to save the day and keep a smile on my face. In fact, my dad is such a good dad that sometimes his love and care for us, me especially, becomes his self-made Kryptonite. It cripples his thinking sometimes to where he can drive himself crazy thinking about the villains of the world and how they are everywhere; thinking about how he has to protect us from each one. Sometimes it, as one who doesn't have children myself, feels unnecessarily excessive. It feels like it does the opposite to what he tries to achieve and sometimes it can feel so overbearing that it pushes me away rather than bringing me closer. In a way I can understand; maybe it's just that he sees me, grown as I am, as still being a baby; the time this whole thing started. That's why I say this:

Dad- I'm not a baby anymore. Sure, according to life I'm still very close to what was infancy, but it's time you knew that daddy's little girl has grown up. I don't always agree with what you say, and that doesn't mean that over time I've become insubordinate, considering I never would as a little one; it just means that now that I'm older I ask questions- It's imperative to my entrance into adulthood.

I always talk about friends because as a little girl I never really had any, so on top of being a socially driven teenage girl, I like this new feeling of companionship. The first time I had a best friend, it was you and now it's time I find others. I know you want to make sure that I'm hanging with the right crowd and not hanging around negatively influential people, but dad; at some point you're gonna have to let me go. How are you going to live knowing that one day I'm going to start dating, and you won't exactly be able to control my decision as to who I pick? At that point, you'll just have to trust my judgement.

Trust; that's something that I think you need to start investing in me. Trust that I know right from wrong. Trust that although I hang out with a bunch of guys that "no funny business" is going on. Trust that although I've taken a study break that I won't let my grades fall. Trust that I am responsible enough to know what you expect of me morally. Trust that everything you have instilled in me from the time I was small enough to fit in the palms of your hand has stuck with me, built me up, and created who I am today.

I'm a teenager now and I have little time before I'm out of this house. I want to be able to look back on my adolescence and note key things about my dad that I can take with me and hopefully see in the man I marry who becomes MY children's dad. I want to be able to revisit those times like I have now where times with you were special and I didn't always feel shunned. You know, something about the phrase "Daddy's Little Girl" rings in my ears whenever you're around. I'm your only daughter, nearly grown; however, know that although my grin is no longer toothless, I'm a good foot taller than I was before, my clothes aren't the same cute and modest ones you used to dress me in and my little attitude has matured with the rest of me, that I am still always gonna be your little girl and, whether I can feel it or not, we'll always be inseparable...

THE END

Love Always <3,
Katrina Lowell


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