I wish I knew my father. I wonder how it feels to be Daddy’s Girl.
Growing up, I always told myself and others who asked (which they
always did ask) that No, I didn’t know my dad or miss him. I would
quickly point out ALL of my uncles provided the fatherly love for me.
My favorite reasoning was “You don’t miss, what you never had”.
Mama said be strong and taught us not to cry. She would get upset
when I cried for him. She taught me very early to always be strong
and not cry. If I fell and hurt myself, she’d say don’t cry. If we
didn’t have food and hunger pains kicked it, don’t cry. If our lights
were cut off, don’t cry. To her, you did not cry over things you
couldn’t change. You focused on getting through it. As a single
parent, this is likely how she maintained her drive and sanity. For a
child however, sometimes I just wanted to cry.
In time, I learned to not cry and be strong…like mama. No matter
how rough or bad things were, I didn’t break and I survived. I began
to wear my lack of tears like armor and felt invincible. If I didn’t
cry, I could always make it.
But now I’m older and realizing single parents, women, make and raise
I was raised to be a daughter and a son. To wash dishes and cut
grass. To sweep the floor and take out the trash. Change my own
flats… the oil. In time, I even learned how to fix the dryer when
it went out. I cleaned and beheaded raw fish and skinned the fresh
meat we got sometimes as well as shucking peas and corn. No time for
ickies or worrying about messing up my hair, getting sweaty, chipping
nails, or ruining my clothes.
I never have or if ever I did, it must’ve been brief or driven out by
mama’s sharp reprimands. We do what we must. Single mothers raise
superhero daughters. Independent, self-sufficient women who hate
being vulnerable and associate girlishness with being weak. Even now I
feel self conscious and insecure with my femininity. Clumsy with men at times.
Why? Because it forces me to be aware of my womanliness and it’s an uncomfortable skin.
Inadequate when I do something in their company that’s “girly”, almost
waiting to be ridiculed as a fake.
I wish I knew my father.
He would’ve let me cry. He would’ve said it was okay being weak and
held me while I sobbed. Ironically, in the end, it takes a father to
teach a girl how to be a woman… just as he teaches boys to be men.
He says “No, you can’t do that. That’s for boys.” or “young ladies
don’t act like that”. It is his love that teaches her how she is to
be loved and accept love. I’m crippled.
I wish I knew my father. He would’ve shown me how to bend… how to
be open. But all he left me or gave in his absence, are these
A Legacy of Kryptonite.
So I’m yielding and rebuilding my ideals so I can be Mary Jane or Lois
Lane. Cry without feeling ashamed or validating my tears… feeling
like I’ve let my mother down. That I’m frail.
Truth is my uncles are, my uncles. My cousins being their pride and
joy. They never went home with me. A lot of my friends had very active
dads in their lives or lived with both parents. And I watched them
and yearned and turned that yearning to indifference.
But tonight when I finish you, entry, I’m going to cry for me. I’m
going to cry for the little girl I was, the teenager I’d been, and then I’m
going to cry for the young lady I am… and me.
I’m going to cry for us and the salt of my tears is going to sting
those old hurts and waken those sleeping giants. And it’s going to
sting but I’m going to do it and Heavenly Father will come and he
will hold me while I break and sob.
And the Father will stitch those wounds up with his love and his grace.
I think he has been here all along, waiting for me to have the will to
heal. Sending emissaries with his message and today I finally heard.
A good friend said, “Everyone needs to cry, K”
She was right.