Parenting: A Rollercoaster

Parenthood has its ins and outs, ups and downs

Up and down, inside out, back and forth, all around. 


The grandmother in the 1989 film Parenthood said it best.

You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.”

My 17-year-old daughter usually mutters in a whisper when we ask her a question, blasts the TV when we enter a room and does not appear like she is paying attention at all to her parents. But this is where it gets interesting.  This is our “down.”—the “up” came the other day when she was asked by her creative writing teacher to write a memoir about someone she loves and admires. She chose her Dad. 

Here is an excerpt from her story:

My Dad is a man of great triumph and I hope one day to be half the person he is. I think one of the reasons my Dad is so appreciative of his family is because his father died when he was only 17, the age I am today. This gives my Dad the motivation to be a father that his dad would approve of. I obviously have never met my grandfather, but everyone tells me what a great man he was and that is certainly when my Dad gets his traits.

My Dad is always doing things for other people without expecting anything in return. Even little things like taking my car for a car wash and filling my tank when I am in bed sound asleep on Sunday morning. I’m sure he does not realize how much I appreciate having a figure like him in my life to aspire to, but I sure do. 

My Dad always wants me to have the best life possible. He told me he would pay for half my first car. I was a little annoyed because he paid a lot more for my older brother.  But now finances are different. He told me whatever money I made he would match it. I earned $4,000 in just four months and I realized that my Dad was teaching me a lesson—a lesson of hard work and stick-to-itiveness. He showed me that things are not just handed to you in life, if you want something you have to work for it. I never question my Dad because I know he knows best. I never ignore his suggestions because he is always looking out for me.  I am never afraid to ask him a question because I know he won’t judge me. As I am maturing I am finding out how much I need to strive to be like my Dad.  A person that I admire so much.

Helen September 29, 2011 at 02:05 AM
This writing piece makes it all worthwhile, what a beautiful tribute to her father. Well done on raising such thoughtful daughter, she really gets it!
Michelle September 29, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Yes parenting has its ups and downs but when a teenager gives you that up...its so worth it. Its so refreshing to read how a teenager really feels about their parent. I guess they are listening to us when we think there not....and we do make a difference in their lives. And after reading your daughters essay we can see they do loves us and appreciate us. Thanks for sharing that essay, it was nice to see there's a light at the end of the tunnel in these teenage years :)


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