To be totally honest, I’ve been thinking about writing this post for quite some time now, but I’ve been putting it off. Why would I ever want to put off something that’s for our dad? The reasons are two-fold:
1. Even though A and I are normally pretty good at finding the right words – when it comes to our good ol’ Papa, there are literally no words that can do the man justice.
2. Because any time I even think about my dad for more than five seconds – I start to cry. It’s a strange reaction really. Normally that would indicate that we don’t have a good relationship or something. But it’s actually quite the contrary.
Our mom has always been our best friend. A and I both talk to her at least once a day. We call her when we’re happy. Sad. Bored. Hungry. Confused (typically paired with the hunger as we go to her for cooking help). And when we just need to complain. Our dad has always been a little envious of this relationship. There’s been a number of times where I’ll be whispering something to our mom in the kitchen and our dad will scream from the living room, “Huh? What are we talking about?!”
When you’re a girl, your mom will always be your best friend, your locked box of secrets and your role model. But your dad will always be equally as special and necessary. I can’t speak for A (I know she feels the same but would probably articulate it differently) but for me, our dad is both my biggest weakness and my biggest strength.
Like most good oxymorons, it’s hard to understand. How can my greatest strength also be my greatest weakness? I’ll try my best to explain…
We have a strong connection, my father and I. He’s the one who pushes me – without even meaning to. He’s the reason I strive to be bigger, better, and more mature in matters of the mind and the heart. In my moments of weakness I think of him and know that he would never want me to shed tears or feel hopeless – and so I try my best to brush it off and stand up tall, because I’m Samir Gautam’s daughter. But so often, it is this very thought that kicks me even more. To know how my father would feel knowing that I’m a part of the big, real world now and thus, how hurt and cut up I’ve been at times.
I guess it all comes back to dad’s wanting to protect their baby girl’s from the harsh realities of the world. I know as teenagers we all went through that phase where we thought our parents were overprotective and wouldn’t give us enough space to grow.
(A quick rush of ghost arguments came back to me just now. “I want a later curfew”. “But all my friends are going to this concert”. “I can drive six hours by myself”. “These shorts ARE NOT too short”. And as an adult I’d like to say – the concerts were always sketchy. The six hour drives got lonely. And now that I see teenage girls prance around as an outsider…the shorts were most probably too short.)
So now that we’ve grown we can tell you this, dad – we will always want and need your protection. No matter how old we get. The world can be scary and no one’s armor is stronger than yours.
Lots of love,
A + K