Tuesday, August 1, 2017

16 and 4 days

I was 16 and 4 days when my father picked me up outside my high school with all my stuff packed into their VW van and sent me to live in a temporary home. At that time it had been 8 years of court. 8 years of my parents absolutely hating each other. 8 years of sitting near the dining room window, waiting for a parent that never came. 8 years of seeing the very worst in those people.  Both had won at least twice under the worst possible tactics. I had been shipped back and forth 4 times. I was the one who had lost. I was the casualty of that war.  The real relationships with my parents ended there. At 16 and 4 days. 

I had an intense flashback to that moment two weeks ago when picking up my daughter's birthday gift 4 days after her 16th birthday. 

On the way home I tried to rationalize why I would give my daughter a piece of expensive jewelry...  I heard all the stories of "purity rings" but I've never been one to harp on that. We all live life. And nobody lives it perfectly. I don't need her to make me any promises or worry about my support or reaction during those mistakes.  I knew that I didn't want this gift connected to that...  but what could I say as I hand her this thing?  It wasn't just a gift. Not to me. Not that day. It was an omen of support. Unwavering, crushing, life-altering support, from me. Forever. In the end, all I could come up with was that I valued her very much. So stumbling over my words and my memories, I told her: "This is not for 'purity'. This is not conditional. This is to show you how much my heart values everything you are. And when you see it, I want you to remember your own value, and never give away any of you lightly."


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