Thursday, December 9, 2010

Conditions Are Right -OR- From Where I Shit...

Not unexpectedly, I love my daughter. Deeply, madly, truly and honestly. I know her and her ways, having watched amazedly as she grew into them and herself. I know that I influenced her development, but I also know that she was born with many of the innate qualities she exhibits today. She has proven herself to be as smart, motivated, dedicated, responsible, determined and genuinely open/friendly as she always wanted to be. As parents, we would love to take all the credit for the fine young woman who now visits us from her independent life in the big city, but we've been there the whole time and know that she deserves MOST of that credit herself. We also know and appreciate her less desirable attributes of manipulation, anger, unreasonableness and stubbornness. I know, proudly, that I am the voice in her head. I also know that there are many times when she tells that voice to get lost, and does things HER way regardless.

Having things HER way has always, always, always in all ways, been something we tried to attenuate without squelching. We hoped she'd outgrow it? It is blatantly unattractive, transparent and painful to experience.

I'm beginning to think that I was given this specific gift, my daughter, as a learning experience. When something in life was deemed by her to be inferior or at least not up to her standards, it was abused and mistreated until it failed. Other things were simply lost or deliberately broken so they could be replaced with the thing she coveted. Transparent behavior. At times, ludicrously destructive to an extreme.

And yes, absolutely, I will catch hell for writing this. I'll be told how wrong and unfair I'm being and she may never again speak to me... EVER... until she NEEDS me for something or other. That is our relationship. We both deal with it. It is what it is. Mutually beneficial; mutually destructive? She's 24 now and despite the un-orthodoxies, I'd say we have a healthy relationship. She would disagree.
Maybe she's right?

I see many of the traits of my father-daughter relationship playing out in current events. When I briefly stopped to ponder this perspective, I shuddered. Did fate deign this? So that I might in some small way and many big ways understand Rethuglicans?

Creating the circumstances, setting the stage, framing the debate, manipulating the data, IGNORING the voice in their head that has to be SCREAMING that they are being childish, spurious, selfish and destructive?

"Get Lost Dad!" We're going for it!

I've tended toward blaming RWR for most/all of the ills we're facing today. Upon further reflection, I absolutely believe that blame is deserved. The potentials were always there to be bullying and unreasonable and destructive to anyone or anything that stood in the way, but for 204 years we attenuated that tendency. RWR was the permissive parent who let it happen, cheered it on and reveled in the superficial, momentary (from a geologic POV) glory of the moment while ignoring the long-term danger and destructiveness.

None of which happened without precedent. It was nothing new. I think a contributory factor was the stern parenting attempts of James Earl Carter and the petulant actions of his "children" in Congress. In hindsight, MOST of America would be better off today had Carter been a more effective parent. If his "kids" had listened and heeded his advice.


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