Hey Dandettes! (Yeah, that one didn't work either - Godsdammit, I wish I could think of a group noun for you people - It's a major inclusivity issue... Feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments below.) Long time no see, I've been sick!
You know I did a thing last year about how every other day is International Day of the something or other? The cat maybe, or the landmine, or the wombat, or the potato that looks like someone from Jersey Shore (Which is like every potato, AmIRiteKids?)
Well, today is the International Day of the Girl. It's the day where we all should 'highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face' It struck me that I know a girl or two, a few on Twitter, a few on Facebook, and even a few in real life! (I know, no-one's more surprised than me) But when it comes down to it there's only one girl that I feel qualified to really talk about... My own daughter.
|This is her, her name's Dorla and she's beautiful isn't she?|
I guess I should write this pretty fast as she's not going to be a girl for much longer (No, don't worry she's not dying, this isn't the X-Factor) It's just that a week today... She becomes A WOMAN!, no, not like that... I assume she's been 'a woman' in several other physical ways for a while now, I'm not an idiot. I mean, she's gonna turn 18.
My daughter, an adult... Christ that makes me feel old. Which is fair, because I am old, and fat, and bald, and my handwriting's barely legible... I am such a catch! - It's a good job I'm rich innit?
Dorla and I had what I think I'm right in saying is the classic Daddy/Daughter relationship - She thought I was the best thing since thick sliced bees knees and that I could do anything, and I thought she was the single most fragile flower in the world and it was my job to protect her from anything that the world tried to throw at her for the rest of her life.
Which went about as well as you can expect, certainly if you've read any of my stuff before... I mean, I even taught her how to play golf - kinda
|From R to L: Me, Dorla, My No.1 son Malachi & his friend, Reece.|
And I fostered (if that's the right word) her interest in Photography, which she is bloody good at...
|And Game of Thrones it would seem.|
And Tattooing (She's looking for an apprenticeship, or she was at least)...
We went through all her changes of style...
|Jebus this picture scares me - Looks like a 25year old's Tinder|
Even that 35 seconds when she wanted to shave part of her head and become a Viking...
Actually I may have got over-involved with that one as I think about it now...
|I've never seen anyone look more pleased with anything, ever.|
I guess all I'm trying to say is that I wished this was still how our relationship was, but it really isn't. Something happened last year. I probably did something or said something, I'm still not 100% sure of exactly what it was. But I'm guessing it was pretty bad, something that couldn't be talked over, some misunderstanding that couldn't be sorted out with a simple explanation (Yeah, let you imagination run riot, mine has pretty much every day since) - And she ran away from home in the middle of the night.
She's not living on the street (Told you - Not X-Factor) although maybe I'd find that easier to handle, there'd always be the feint hope that I could entice her back home with the promise of 'cheesy-chips' or expensive coffee. But she moved in with her boyfriend's family and she seems happy enough. They've got an extended family and have a lot of parties, which I would probably have loved when I was 17... Which is when I looked like this:
|Yes, I know - The weight came on as the hair went off|
I wish that I could have been a better Dad and stopped this from ever happening, I wish I could have done more... Or even just enough, to make her feel that she was able to stay. But it seems I couldn't.
Because no matter how old and independent she grows, this is who I see when I look at her.
|Cradling her brother the day after he was born.|
And I just miss what we had so much, but it can never be the same as it was. Maybe I'm just selfish?