I am convinced that my father was born with a newspaper in one tiny hand and a neck tie instead of an umbilical cord. I mean this in the most complimentary way possible; the man has a work ethic that can make any zealous overachiever feel lazy. As a kid, I hardly appreciated or even noticed how tirelessly he worked to support my family and me.

Similar to most of my friends, my childhood was dominated by my cheerful, arts and crafts-loving mother, who stayed home to raise my siblings and me. My father spent as much time as he could with me and I loved every minute of it, but he wasn’t exactly an “arts and crafts” guy. In fact, when I look back on old photographs from the early ‘90s, I have to laugh at the sight of my dad awkwardly playing Barbies with me. He was (and is) the type who preferred to assemble toys for his kids, rather than play along with them.

Since then, I’ve come a long way from Barbies. Like millions of other young adults in America today, I am a college student who is earnestly (and often laughably) trying to seem like I know what I’m doing. This is where my relationship with my dad has suddenly increased tenfold: a businessman since birth certainly has an easier time talking to his daughter about student loans and politics than about glitter and cute boys. And far from being boring, I’ve found this both informative and oddly heartwarming.

My slow transition from sheltered suburbia into reality has allowed my father and me to really develop camaraderie, punctuated by whisper-fights about the economy in Italian restaurants and easy chats about the Pope’s resignation. He has always loved and supported me, but now when I call him on the phone, we can talk for much longer. My “English major” roots often clash with his practicality and logic, and as stubborn as we both are, we enjoy it immensely.

I won’t kid myself; we are far from equal and I still have a ton to learn. Remnants from my childhood still hold a sweet presence in our relationship (he called me yesterday to tell me about the new “Great and Powerful Oz” movie, just because he remembers my obsession with “The Wizard of Oz” when I was six years old). In some ways, I will always be a child to my father, but in the most important ways, I have grown up. I can hardly call myself a true adult just yet, but it’s much easier to forage through the real world with a friend by my side.

10 Comments

  1. Welcome to Boles Blogs, Emily! We are honored and delighted to have you with us as an Intern! How did you find us and decide to join our writing crew?

    Your story is touching and important. I appreciate the special angle you provide into the complicated relationship between daughter and father. It’s lovely to see the love growing and changing and becoming stronger and tougher as you each age into the future together.

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    1. Thanks, David! I only created my WordPress a few months ago, so I recently decided I needed to follow some new blogs. During my searches, I stumbled on Boles Blogs– and after reading a lot more than I had planned to, I realized I was hooked. I’m glad I can contribute my own work now too!

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      1. Ah! Love that story of how you found us, Emily! That’s precisely how it’s all supposed to work. I’m certain we will have a long and beneficial relationship having you on board with us now and forevermore! SMILE!

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  2. Welcome Emily!

    I loved this – it reminded me of how my father stuck with me through thick and thin in the later stages of his life and how I hopefully repaid my debt to him before he passed away.

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    1. Thanks Nicola! Sorry to hear of your father’s passing, but I’m glad you were able to show him how much you cared. I think that’s one of the strongest feelings a person can have, and yet sometimes it seems the hardest to express.

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  3. Welcome!

    I have such a different relationship with my father and mother. My father has given me so many life lessons that I have filed away and lovingly think about in times of need. Love the way your relationship with your father has evolved!

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