Wednesday, May 03, 2006


How a Dad is Like a Deer in Headlights

Okay, so my ten-year and I walk out of a store this evening. She said "You need to take me shopping before Mother's Day. You never take me shopping."

"We'll see if we can go," I said. "At least you have a card." She picked out a card last week and I bought it.

"You bought that for me," she said with a matter of fact tone. "I wanted to buy those earrings, but they were so expensive! You didn't even offer to buy them for me."

She had approached me with a little blue box after I'd already paid, saw me putting my wallet away and turned around without saying anything.

"You never buy me anything to give to Mom."

"Well," I said, "I don't think I have a rule about that."

"Yes, you do have a rule. The kid has to spend her own money on anything the kid wants."

I smiled, thinking about the source of her allowance - her mother and me.

"You only buy me food and stuff you think I really need. That's your rule. Mom always pays for things for me to give to you." She sounded a little angry. I said nothing.

At some point, and soon, my daughter will take all the responsibility for her own gift giving. I look on my job as her Dad as giving her the means and ability to assume responsibility, as well as an incentive to do so. That's my gift to my child. The rest is up to her.

I guess her Mom will have some lean years ahead, giftwise.

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