There She Goes

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The start of a new school year is hard enough with tweaks in daily family routines and checks written. But when you’re forced by nature to watch your youngest child grow up and make her way into a new day, it’s soul crushing.

When I met my wife, blending our family of three daughters I listened to a lot of advice from friends, family, and foes. I was bringing a then 4-year-old little girl into a situation that would contain a then 12-year-old girl, and a then 3-year-old girl. Everyone, including the internets told me that it would be the oldest one that would sail or sink the whole deal. Wrong. My oldest, in this blog known as Tay, was the easiest. We were friends. We got along so well, it shocked people. It was Tay that first asked her mom, after only three months of dating, “so, are ya’ll going to get married?” Tay’s now 16 and the relationship’s changed. She looks at me with the same disgust she used to reserve for mom. I’m her dad and she treats me that way.

The middle one, now about three weeks from turning 9 and known in these parts as Bug, was easy too. She loved my wife from the start but she’s a little bad ass. She doesn’t lovey dovey anyone. But like her older sister and father, she’s a people pleaser at heart. So, there wasn’t anything complicated with her. The youngest girl, known here as The Goose, was a different story.

Bobina was fresh off a divorce. Goose was still very attached to the other dad. She’s also a mama’s girl so her affections were almost exclusive to Bobina. I thought my winning personality (sarcasm) would win her over the way it did with her older sisters, but no. Goose, like any great diva, made me work.

Goose is amazing. She’s the most unique little girl I’ve ever met. She runs our house. She calls herself a Princess, because a Princess becomes a Queen. She can run in heels, has better fashion sense than a Milan runway, and doesn’t take no for an answer. We clashed for a while, and it was all my fault.

This morning I saw our father-daughter dynamic turn the corner. She’s not a morning person, In fact, she expects the morning to wait on her to be ready not the other way around. Goose also loves being 7-year-old. She’s exactly a month away from turning 8, but she stills call herself 7 and loves the perks that comes with being the baby. She hangs on mommy, takes kisses from whoever offers, expects her hair to be perfect, and for you to acknowledge her eminent power as a future Her Highness.

Yesterday, the first day of school, Bobina took the day off and got Goose ready. They were all over each other. All I had to do was follow behind them and carry the trains of their dresses, metaphorically. Bobina went to work early this morning and left me in charge. I woke Goose, made her some cereal, then she did the rest. Her hair was coiffed, her outfit was assembled, and her book bag had everything she desired. She allowed me to hold her hand until we got to the bustop, then let go when she saw people. As the big yellow taxi hit its hydraulic brakes, she looked up, grinned, and leaned in for an air kiss. I knew what to do. I may have curtsied afterwards. She let me in and we fell for each other all over, again. She really made me dad today. Of course, I got in a shot for myself. I intentionally knotted her shoelaces so she’d be forced to ask for my help. I think that’s why she insisted I tie them on her feet.

Touche’, Princess.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Dude Write

Today’s song plays in my head sometimes when Goose is holding court. This morning it took on new meaning. Here’s There She Goes by The La’s

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54 thoughts on “There She Goes

  1. dberonilla

    Awesome, awesome, awesome post, Lance.
    I love that we both wrote about our blended families today.
    It’s a different dynamic for sure, and your family sounds so great. It’s hard watching them grow up, but boy oh boy it sounds like you two are raising some great girls there.

    I also liked the great little phrases you’ve used throughout the post like “All I had to do was follow behind them and carry the trains of their dresses, metaphorically.” for example.
    You are such a great Dad. :-)

  2. Ahh…women. You seem to understand them better than I do, regardless of how old they are ;) But in all seriousness, fabulous memory and fabulous post. It had to be hard to be the only male in a house, but you approach it with humor, compassion and and an understanding that you will probably never understand. It appears to be a winning combination.

    Also, holy crap! They’re already starting school?

  3. It is such a privilege to have this window into the way your family rocks it out. What you guys have is so rare. My step-dad came into our family of 3 girls, bringing his son and daughter in part-time. The dynamic was nothing out of the ordinary, neither positive or negative. And I cringed every time I had to call my own dad “dad,” so calling anyone else “dad” was out of the question. Honestly, I don’t think it would have mattered who my mom married, I would have still been as hateful and spiteful as I could muster. You guys have such a special dynamic. Thanks for letting us see. It’s the small things like this that keeps faith in humanity afloat.

    I just added that song to my Ipod YESTERDAY. No shit. Well. First I bought the Sixpence version and then I got this version, too. Seriously. Yesterday.

  4. Lovely personal observations of life with family. And I really like that you have a music video with each post. It would be nice to play the music for each post while reading the post, although I listened to the music after reading the post because music while reading is quite distracting. I love the subtle un/connection of a particular song with a narrative.

  5. You picked a great song. She sounds amazing and challenging all at the same time, just like my girls. I like the idea of the morning waiting for her. That is a much better way to frame it for me when my girls go into slowdown mode in the mornings.

  6. She just informed me that she did not need you to take her to the bus stop and I do not need to be there when she gets off. She will just walk to and from with her friend Xavier.

  7. I think it’s fantastic and a testimony to how you and your wife have chosen to blend your families into one that until this post, I had no idea whose child was whose. I knew two were your wife’s and one was yours, but after that, I was lost. But that’s such a great thing. They’re all simply your children. No one is anyone’s “step” anything. You’re a family through and through, no matter what happened to get you here. Good job, to all five of you. You’re a perfect example of how it should be done.

    • thanks former Goose. I thought i’d covered the semantics of our household. But, glad you’re clear. Its taken four and a half years but we’ve started to figure it all out.

  8. I come from a blended family and while I didn’t always get along with my step-parents my step-siblings are truly people I love like siblings. I don’t even refer to them as “step sisters” they are just my sisters! I hope your girls grow up feeling the same way about each other!

    Awesome post!

  9. Beautiful, dad!

    And like Marian sez (curse her correctitude!), a wonderful song choice as well.

    Hey, check me this Friday, as I’ve some pretty awesome “blended” family news (first WP, later FB) as well my friend =]

    • weird how that works? all 3 of my daughters know how to play me. you should see them huddle and plan how they’ll get the twenty bucks out of my pocket. thanks.

  10. I love it when you blog about your blended family. Mine isn’t quite fully blended yet but they already add so much to my life. When we are all together I truly feel blessed.

  11. Just wait, in no time aliens will invade her brain and turn her into one of those scary and often unrational creatures we parents know as adolescents….then you’ll see the power (or distruction) one “princess” can wield. Be afraid…very afraid.

  12. Chubby Chatterbox

    Wonderful post. I love the way you get into your kids’ heads without demeaning them in any way. I suspect you’re a great dad. Come visit me sometime at Chubby Chatterbox.

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