Tuesday, June 14, 2011

we are family.

inspiration: thinking about the future...

the further i am from my parents, it becomes clearer and clearer to me how much of a "daddy's girl" i really am. i catch myself doing things after which all i can say is "i'm turning into my father". it's very true.

saturday night, my dad texted me that he was watching the Braves game. so i turned on the tv and spent the latter part of my evening sitting in front of the tv watching the final innings of the Braves vs. Astros game. i caught it at the beginning of the 8th. it was tied 2-2. it really took me back to my childhood. watching the braves night after night (although, back then, i had the luxury of knowing all the players. the only players i recognized when i watched last night were Chipper Jones (of course) and Brian McCann) ... oh, the memories ...

...but before i go off onto a nerdy baseball tangent, i'll draw my thoughts back in. i've often thought about this before, but i don't think i've blogged about it. i'm sure there have been scientific studies to back me up, but i'm writing on sheer experiential knowledge about this: families shape us and mold us into who we are. as a daughter, i feel like i can link my personality with how my parents raised me and treated me and honored me.

i believe fathers directly influence their daughter's self esteem.

like i said, i'm a huge daddy's girl.
he and i have a strong relationship; growing up, he was always present, physically and emotionally, and was very intentional about what i did and how i lived. i was affirmed and honored and cherished by him. and while i still struggle, as most women do, with self-esteem, i feel like my positive energy and self-esteem stem directly from the relationship i had/have with my father.

i have friends who, like me, have strong father/daughter relationships and those who don't and to me, it seems like my assertion is true. for women, our dads are the primary reflection of what a man is (or is not, in some cases). so when that relationship is compromised, that becomes the image we have of men in general.

i'm blessed to have a father that adored me. and sometimes i wonder what the world would be like, how body image and the scrutiny and attention that women get would be affected, if all daughters had fathers like mine?

he sacrificed for me to let me know that i was important.
he told me every chance he had to tell me that i was beautiful.
he affirmed me when i did well.
he encouraged me when i failed.
he disciplined me when i was wrong.
but also showed me grace.

to be honest, i'm not really sure about the true dynamic of a mother-daughter relationship...

i love my mother. but for a majority of my childhood, she wasn't always there.
physically she was, but mentally not always. she is a great woman but had a rough childhood and is bipolar. i learned this when i was about 11 years old.

i'm the complete opposite of my mom in a lot of ways.
i'm very independent, very adventurous.
i'm very headstrong and full of energy.

my dad is very much the head of the family and always provided for my mom and me, since my mom couldn't work. and i wonder how much of that environment contributed to me becoming the independent woman that i am? i've always been incredibly driven to provide for myself, to not be dependent on someone else to provide for me.

don't get me wrong, my mom is great. she and my dad have always been my number one fans and they have supported me in all that i do. they encourage my independence and freedom and my zeal for life!

and as a mother one day, i know i'll do the same for my children.
i will always encourage my children to pursue their dreams.
i will always let them know how much i love them.
i will tell my daughters how beautiful they are.
i will tell my sons how handsome and strong they are.
i will nurture and raise them in the ways they should go.

i can't wait for those days.
my family will not be perfect, but we will be family.

my parents did a great job raising me.
and i hope that i will be as great of a parent as they were/still are.

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