Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Walking in Bigger Shoes

When my dad opened his Facebook account a few months ago and joined my list of friends I jokingly tweeted that I should have blocked him before he found my very well-hidden account. Afterwards, there were jokes here and there about the funny things he said or did. But eventually, we (I) found a good rhythm that worked for both of us: I hardly ever interact with him on there, and when I post a picture/album/anything that I know will pique his curiosity I just make sure I exclude him from friends who are able to see it. It works pretty well (you all should try those customized settings). Anyway, I was a bit surprised when he asked me a few days ago why I am always on Facebook. Ok, not surprised, seriously exasperated.

Sidebar: Those who knew me on Facebook when Facebook was IT would probably laugh at that. These days I log in to check birthdays, respond to messages, report spam, decline Farmville invites, decline friend requests from people I don't personally know, unfriend people who invite me to parties 3 times in a row, and ocassionaly post a photo or two to show I'm still alive. Twitter, now that is a different story.

Back to dad, I was a little bit irritated that he was bugging me again. But this time, I thought about it differently...

If life works out the way I have pretended not to have planned it, when I am about 50 like my dad is I will have my own two children in their mid-to-late teens with a loving husband by my side. But I am sensible enough to know that life does not always work out the way we plan it or wish it would. Whatever the situation I am in when that time comes, I know for a fact that I would want my children to share my life with me. But more importantly, I would want, more than anything in the world, to share their lives with them and be a part of their adult lives.

Many of us are not from homes where both parents are alive, or even together, and lately I have been thinking about those parents and how they get by. I know they have their friends, but having only been in the rat race of having a career and corporate living for seven long months, I can only imagine just how few and far between those interactions with even the closest friends are. As young as I am, I have become just a tiny bit jaded about many of my friendships, and I imagine it probably gets worse as we all get older. In the end, we all will most likely turn to our children too...

Once when I was complaining about my dad and his MANY MANY MANY MANY OH MY GOD MANY questions on BBM a friend asked me to be nice, to think about the reason every parent is suddenly using our methods of communication. Picture this: half the time you are in the same room as your parents you are on that thing (as they all call it), you're smiling at it, maybe even laughing at it, and you never ever seem to put it down. For most parents I know, they are now on those things because they know it is the way to get to their kids, and maybe get us to smile at them like that. Lord knows I can't remember the last time I called my dad just to say hi. I even get annoyed when he calls me at odd hours of the day, selfishly ignoring the 6-hour time difference that makes it difficult for him as well.

I have often said to my friends when they quarrel with or complain about their mothers that I would give anything in the world, and I mean anything, to have my mother here today. But in the same way, I am guilty of taking my dad for granted even though I know many who would give anything to spend just one day with their father (or even just to know who he is)...

In the spirit of this season of (commercial) Love, I am making a promise to my first superhero, my Number One man (for now)...

Daddy, if you are reading this (and I know you are) here a few things I would like to say to you:

1) Go to Facebook> Account Settings> Notifications> and disable those email notifications. I am not as active as I would like to be on Facebook, you should see my Twitter (you never will though. I made sure) but no one receives email notifications on Facebook anymore because then we would all go crazy and Yahoo would shut down from the traffic.

2) For the 60-plus years that we have left together on earth, I promise to not only be a great daughter, but to be your friend. Your best friend, if possible. You are a pretty cool dude and it would be an honor to get to know you as a friend and share (most parts of) my life with you as well. Maybe even get you to start drinking... ☺

Just one condition: Please do not ever ask me if I'm "Painting the town red" on a Friday night. Only old people say that ☺

I love you Daddy.

To the rest of you, please be kind to your parents.

Paix et amour ♥

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