All Grown Up
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.
It was best of all possible outcomes, the best anyone could have hoped for.
Shannon, at 16, had been looking for specific topics to discuss with her dad. She’d settled on history, public speaking, and science as common interests.
I remember trying to do the same with my dad so he and I could have a “relationship.” The only things we could talk much about were farming and Sunday School, and even those were a bit of a strain. Then he retired from farming, I became Wiccan, and then we just talked about the grandkids. As for working out any of my issues directly with him, he’s far too old and feeble now for me to ask him why he did certain things or for me ever to understand things fully.
But Shannon’s been wanting a relationship with her dad, some kind of basis to look beyond the past and to move forward. She’s known that things would get better between them eventually, but things don’t get better on their own. They have to be built upon.
Then a few nights ago, she had a private talk with him.
She told me about it afterwards. She was ecstatic.
She had ratcheted up her courage and told him exactly who she was, what she believed. She gave him a glimpse of who she was underneath—not his daughter or her mother’s daughter or a clone of either of us or even an amalgam of our beliefs but fully her own person with her own opinions, her own history, her own plans.
It wasn’t their first adult conversation but it was the first conversation where she felt treated as an adult. She came home very, very proud, and I’m very proud her for what she was able to do. It takes a lot of courage to show your true self someone else and hope that they will accept you for who and what you are, especially when it’s someone you love.