Today’s Post is written by Jewel Figueras
Recently, I had the opportunity to take an 8 day, 3000 mile road trip with the two kids that still live at home. The trip would take us from my home in South Florida to South Carolina, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and back to Florida. At the last minute and totally on a whim, I decided to ask my Dad to go along as well. As soon as the words left my lips, I started stressing about whether that was a good decision because in recent years, I’m always resisting the urge to “parent” him. But he had agreed and it was done.
Over the course of the next week, driving up to 12 hours a day, I learned so much about my Dad. We had time to talk a lot and I think that I gained a better understanding of him and his ways. I found an oldies station on the satellite radio and when familiar songs came on, he would share stories of his life during that period. Some of the anecdotes were completely new to me. Some were funny, some were sad, some were downright surprising.
At times, I caught myself tearing up—watching him beam proudly as he pointed us out to some stranger that he’d met, standing by as he insisted on being the one to actually put gas in the car because “that’s man work,” tolerating his awful singing voice as he crooned tunes recorded by groups has disbanded before I was even born.
Actually, the trip was great. We created family memories that are already priceless. My worries were unfounded. I think that I’ve finally come to a realization–He doesn’t need me to parent him. He only needs me to daughter him.