“Quien quiere medio taza de cafe, se le da taza y medio.” ~Author Unknown
(Loosely translated: Whomever wants a half-cup of coffee, give them a cup and a half)
When pondering the neverending issues with Sara, I turned to the only person who could give me the proper perspective: my Dad. Well, to be fair, I turned to my mom first and she also gave me her advice which was indeed useful, but I wanted the masculine viewpoint to give my thoughts some scope. I tried my mom’s advice first: Letting Sara know that I was there for her no matter what. Opening the lines of communication. Much to my chagrin, it hasn’t worked.
So today, I spoke with Daddy. Sometimes the best advice you can get in your life happens quite by accident. A series of words that when placed together, manage to reach you from the inside out. Dad’s words gave me some startling clarity because I think I understand my Dad’s language.
There are many times over the course of my life that my father has influenced me. One instance in particular sticks out in my mind. It was the year that the New York Mets won the 1986 World Series. My parents were both intensely engrossed in baseball at that time. They watched almost every game leading up to it. And although I remember the 7th game miracle win, that wasn’t the only thing amazing. The memory I carry with me happened long after the game-winning base-hit by Howard “Ho-Jo” Johnson. In celebration, my Dad tucked me and my sister into bed (on the floor because we were too excited to sleep in our beds). Now, my Dad wasn’t a guitar player by any means. He used the instrument much like Sherlock Holmes used his voilin. He tinkered through the notes and would find a pleasing sound and then would stick with it. Well he knew that me and my sister dug on this one riff and he played it…a lot. He played it even though his guitar was never in tune. He played it even though he was probably sick of us asking him to play it. He played it even though it was real late at night. Either way, it taught me what the act of kindness was all about. He maybe secretly wished he really could play. I imagine he would’ve liked to strum some kind of fabulous song that he wrote in honor of the birth of his daughters. Or, in honor of the greatest World Series EVER. Instead, he just chose to accomodate us and our demands despite being weary or regretful. Dad played because we asked him to. And to me, that was the coolest thing.
But onto the advice. Now, Sara’s a stubborn young colt. She argues, she lies, she’s crafty. I’ve mentioned all of this before, ad nauseum. But my Dad’s idea was simple: Give her what she wants. An odd concept, right? One fights so hard to get themselves heard. Then they fight some more to get their points across. Both of these steps have had little to no impact on Sara because she wants to do things on her own. She wants to believe that she can be completely self-sufficient at sixteen. So I have to get her to go ahead and move forward on being self-sufficient. She’ll have some decisions to make, but they will be hers alone. I have to remove myself from the equation. So…that will be my next strategy. Hopefully, it will be enough. I won’t know how it all turns out until she’s gone. Let’s just hope that this works. Fingers crossed, eyes closed…