December 12, 2009

Naughty or Nice?

During my recent visit to Utah for my sister's wedding I had the chance to be present during a priesthood blessing. My sister visited my parent's house the morning before her wedding day and asked my father for a blessing. It was nice. He is a good father and loves his children that is clear. I was happy for my sister. Then he did something that took me back more than one would expect. He came over to me, took my face in his hands and looked deep into my eyes. He then said to me in his most serious voice. "You are a good person." At forty years old I wouldn't have expected that to mean so much. Approval from one's parents at that point in time would seem like gravy and not the main dish. But I think a daughter always needs to hear that she is loved and approved of by her father. Especially when her political views have strayed from what he raised her to believe. So when he said this, I teared up a bit.

A few days later I sat at the kitchen table chatting about this and that with him. The conversation was nothing deep. It turned to his health and the recent diet shots he's been on to lose weight. He was proposing that he may suggest the shots to another sister who is overweight. Knowing him as I do, I know that his tact levels are low. Very low. So I merely suggested that he take care in how he suggested those shots. "Tell her how much you love her and want her to be healthy and happy- don't tell her she's looking like a fat cow." (She doesn't btw- I'm just making a point.) A point which my father did not appreciate. Perhaps my tact levels are low too. By the end of that conversation he had laid into me pretty hard about how a 40 year old doesn't know as much as an 80 year old and should not be giving such advice... yada, yada, yada. I wanted to cry now for another reason. But not really. I just felt misunderstood. Something my Dad probably feels quite often.

So I don't know what I am. Am I a good person? Am I a know it all who can't keep her mouth shut? I am not quite sure, but I know where I possibly learned both of these personality traits.

From my father.


Shana said...

Actually, before I even read what you said, I was thinking that. It is hard to approach someone about weight and your comment "Tell her how much you love her and want her to be healthy and happy- don't tell her she's looking like a fat cow." is perfectly acceptable as I know lots of people who would appreciate the 'healthy' thing but really be hurt by a 'fat cow' (or similar reference.
An 80 year old doesn't necessary know more than an 40 year old and who cares who knows more anyway. I NEVER assume that I know more than anyone, even a young young person.
As for saying what you think: I never used to and always felt bad that I didn't speak up.
I think you are a great person.

Camrin said...

What a GREAT post Aunt Kelly!!! Made me kinda tear up too! I know it means a lot to me to have my fathers approval. Sometimes I feel like I have failed him but, I am who I am. Thanks for sharing your feelings. I needed this post.
BTW-Can you email me your mailing address
I'm trying to send out Christmas cards.
Love and miss you guys!

Kristina P. said...

Yeah, it's a very sensitive subject. I think you did fine.

Bob and Julie said...

Loved catching up!! I've been away from blogging again. You're so great at keeping up with it. It's fun reading your perspective on things. I can't believe how everyone is growing up!!

Your Christmas letters are the best!! I can't wait. I know it's just one more added HUGE thing...but, we appreciate it and love it!!

c a n d a c e said...

I liked this post, and it really got to me. Nothing means more to me than when my dad compliments me. Why? Because it rarely happens. My dad is sincere and blunt so he rarely comments on anything good in my life (for now). I treasure those moments where I feel he has pride in me... especially since they are so few and far between. I think I know how you may feel (if at the very least a tiny bit).

Secondly, I think you were trying to do the right thing. Therefore, you are a great person. And someone who can admit their mistakes (like you did with me) makes me really impressed and I totally respect you.
Loves- Candace