Dear in the headlights moment, ten years old at Battle Creek Park, Maplewood
Dear (deer) in the headlights moment, ten years old at Battle Creek Park, Maplewood


After seeing some pictures of my daughter, Stephanie, my beloved cousin Patricia said and then asked, “Stephanie is beautiful! How old is she, Steve?

“She is ten and already…boy problems! She never tells me what’s troubling her when I ask, so last night I waited until she was settled in bed then I went up to her room while it was dark in there, pulled a chair up next to the bed and asked, “What’s bothering you Steph? Are things okay at school? Do you have all of your work done? What’s goin’ on,” Marvin Gaye said that more famously, but this is what she told me…

“Dad, a kid I like at school likes a different girl.”

“So sweet that you knew when she would feel most safe to tell you,” said another loved cousin, Pamela. “You must be a fantastic father. She is lucky.” 

I’m the lucky one Pam.

My little talk with Stephanie continued…“Oh well, you know not everybody you like is going to like you back; that’s just the way it is Steph. Some will like you but you maybe won’t like them;  and the same is true for them.  You must always be honest and true to yourself.” She asked what that meant and I told her, “It means never try to be like someone else because you can never be another. God made each person unique and you are special just for being you.  All in good time you will have boyfriends.”

2012 - Just before her dance performance.
2012 – Just before her dance with other beautiful FilAm’s from the CSFA in the performance of Pamana IX at Burnsville Performing Arts Center.

“Dad, he wasn’t my boyfriend!  But as long as we’re talking about it there are three girls in my class who already date and hold hands, when can I start?”

“Well how does a-hundred sound? No? Well, you are way to young yet, enjoy being a kid for at least a few more years.” She persisted…

“Really Dad.”

So I told her she could begin at about thirteen…and you know sixteen is around thirteen, haha.

Patricia made this reply, “What a tender conversation you shared with Stephanie. Your intuitive and gentle inquiry into her feelings in the stillness of evening was very special. I like how you validated her as a special person who is not meant to be like another…that she is her own, unique person.

Patty, you are too kind.  I try to be patient, loving, caring and with a positive attitude like most Mothers’ to their child. I even told her that last night, “You can talk to me about boy problems because I used to be one, and you know, I’m your mom too, I will always listen and will not get upset, at least I’ll try not to.”

 Thanks for the affirmation that I am getting it right concerning Stephanie because I am never sure, thanks Patty and Pam.

Growing up!
Growing up!
Morning picture before school...
Morning picture before school…

One thought on “Innocence…

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