Friday, July 12, 2013

Pride of the Father

My daughter, a sailors daughter, is currently involved in a fund raising event for her cheerleading crew. I’m not really a big fan of cheerleading, I’ve never dated one nor have I ever really wanted too. But, she wants to be one and of course I will support her in all of her endeavors. So much so, that in the past I have almost strong armed people into purchasing magazine subscriptions and selling all sorts of candy and wrapping paper. This time though, it was a bit different.
            You see, this time, I did not lift a finger or open my billfold. Well, let me codify that, I did open my wallet to make change. You see, my daughter as well as all the other young ladies on her squad were tasked with raising four hundred dollars to cover the cost of uniforms, weekend camp and other as sundries I have no idea nor do I want to.
            But, to my child’s credit, she went out and knocked on doors, went to businesses and basically strongarmed anyone within listening distance to give her money for sponsorship or for a coupon for a fresh fried box of Krispy Kreme donuts. She raised all but sixty-eight dollars by the time the donut sales were due. Something no other cheerleader was able to do. I’m more than proud of her. I am estatic for her. She had a goal and the desire to complete the goal. I can’t say I’ve ever been more proud of anyone’s actions in my life.
            As a kid I was a newspaper boy, and I went from house to house in various cities of Wisconsin trying to get people to subscribe to the paper I delivered. For all that effort I was compensated in money and trips to local theme parks. But, it seems to me I was never driven as much as my offspring is driven right now. She has wanted to be a cheerleader for so long it seems to be ingrained in her DNA.  I can’t imagine wanting anything so badly that I would go out and knock on complete strangers houses for fifty percent of the profit just so I could wear some clothes that others wear. But it is important to her and she is doing everything in her power to make sure her dream is becoming a reality. I can respect that.
            I am sure there are times in every parent’s life where they wish their child would just do what is needed to become an adult and not go above and beyond to set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. I’ve always wished that for my child. Simply because I do not want to see her suffer the disappointment that comes with growing up and the inevitable failure that precedes success, yet, she constantly amazes me with her tenacity and will to succeed in endeavors she feels are important to her. Failures we have all experienced and have either beaten us or made us stand up and fight even harder for what we want. But right now, I don’t see failure on the horizon for my child, instead I see a steady stream of success.
            She has shown great stamina and energy in her endeavor, more so than most of the kids I see these days who basically just wait for someone to come along and make their dreams come true through kindness or pity.  These traits are admirable and I don’t know when or where she got them. Hell, she won’t even clean up her room given a monetary incentive but tell her she needs four-hundred bucks for cheerleading and she is out the door with a hand decorated shoe box under one arm, her cell phone in her other hand and a popsicle in her mouth shouting over her shoulder “I’ll be back in a couple hours.”
            And she did come back, with more money than I would have thought possible. The grin on her face and the air of success exuding from her was contagious. The look of confidence she has now seems to have dashed my fears and worries against the unknown shoals of life. I hope she remembers these days and this success not for my sake, but for her own. For I know, regardless of everything I try to protect her from those monsters of her future will inevitably show up. When they do, I hope and pray she will remember this first and greatest success she has achieved. If not, I hope she will remember the success when she is alone and feeling defeated on a dark night when she feels she has no friends and has been faced with what may seem and insurmountable goal.
            Goose, I love you and I am proud of you. Keep up the great work, you have my respect and my undying love.

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