Growing up in a household with both of my parents has been an experience. My mother is extremely patient, gentle, and compassionate. She is also funny, ditzy, unaware, and the best gossiper I know. My father is a character as well. He is brash, loud, funny, and he is the best curser I know. He is also impatient, moody, and temperamental.
My relationships with them are as different as their personalities. My mother is my best friend. We do everything together. My daddy is my dad. We do not share the same relationship, but we have an understanding. He is my father and I love him. I am his daughter and he loves me.
My mother is easy to love. My father, on the other hand, requires more work. Besides afore mentioned qualities, he also is a nit-picker.
The way I dress bothers my parents. I am naturally a plain Jane. My mother wishes I would ditch my everyday diamond studs for gaudy look-at-me earrings. My father wishes I would ditch the t-shirts and flip flops for what he calls, “the shoes other girls wear.”
They share the same feelings, but they go about them in different ways. My mother knows me. She knows that am a plain Jane and she has accepted this. My father knows that am I plain Jane, also. Instead of accepting my plainness, he bugs me and hollers about it. “What do you have on? I know that you are not going anywhere looking like that!” My absolute favorite is the ever so dramatic, frustrated, “You just don’t care.” I always try to be respectful during his nit-picking interrogations or his moody moments of impatience. Sometimes, I get frustrated and answer “with an attitude.”
As I have gotten older, it is hard to be patient and answer my father “without an attitude.” He frequently has to ask me who I’m talking to, and I frequently have to pretend like I am not talking to him. Due to our frequent exchanges, I realize that I possess his moodiness, impatience, and sometimes, I can be temperamental. I realize, that I too, require more work to love. It is a bad day when you realize that the very qualities that bother you about someone else, you possess.
I have spent years lifting fifty pound weights to get my love muscles strong enough to deal with my dad. I never thought about the preparation he must go through to deal with an equally moody, impatient, and sometimes temperamental daughter.
My father and I are not “lovie-dovie,” but we do love. We love each other. I think, in dealing with each other, we have become equipped to love the uneasy. My relationship with my father has made it easier for me to love people fully. I am able to accept and love good and bad qualities. I believe that, when we learn to love the not-so-loveable, we become capable of loving others more completely.
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