I’m not Superman

I realised the other day I’m no longer Superman. Let me explain.

I haven’t been fishing with my daughter for a few years and she recently asked if we could go. I thought nearing the end of school holidays and nearly time for me to go back to work was as good a time as any so we got our gear together, picked up bait on the way and there we were.

Over the next couple of hours we seemed to travel back in time. She asked me why we used the bait we used, why this was a good time to fish, what sort of fish lived in these waters, what we’d do with them when we caught them and a seemingly endless number of questions about where we were and what we were doing.

Added to the questions were the requests to bait the hook, cast, retrieve the line so it didn’t snag on the rocks and so on. She even had that sense of excitement that only little girls seem to have when we caught a few glimpses of a turtle coming up for air as he swam lazily near us.

For the first time in a long time my rapidly approaching teenage daughter needed me to know everything and do anything. Just like it used to be. But most of that part of me is gone.

It struck me that it’s no longer that type of Daddy that she needs. All I wish for (and I suspect all parents wish for the same thing) is a happy, healthy, intelligent, confident and independent daughter and the stark reality hit me that that’s exactly what she’s becoming.

However it also means I’m not the Daddy I once was. I’m not the Daddy who knows the answer to every question she could ever ask, lately she doesn’t even seem to ask a lot of questions. Maybe she doesn’t think I’ll know the answers. As for the Daddy who could do anything, well now I get a dirty look if I interrupt her when she’s trying to do something for herself. And more often than not, she succeeds.

At the end of the day when she went to bed I got my kiss and cuddle and she told me she loves me. I suppose I’m getting what I always wanted but I’ve also lost something I loved so much. Then again maybe nothing’s lost, maybe it’s just changed.

I’m not Superman, I’m just Daddy. And I love it


Photo used with permission of Robert Gjessing of www.harlequinphotography.com Click photo to view the website.