Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Daddies Don't Know Everything

This probably comes as no shock to some of you, but I have not always been so modest. When my oldest son, Jeremy, was six or seven years old, I was taking him to a Saturday afternoon movie that he really, really wanted to see. After all this time I cannot recall what the movie was but it was probably "The Muppet Movie" or "Robin Hood".  We left for the theater in plenty of time, but Jeremy was worried that we would be late and miss the first part. He kept asking for reassurance that we would be on time and I kept repeating, "Yes, we will be in plenty of time." Finally he gave a contented sigh and said, "Daddies know everything, don't they?" "Yes!" I replied. "And I am never going to let you forget that you said that." 

Over the years, particularly in Jeremy's teenage years, I repeatedly reminded him of the "truth" that he had accepted so long ago that "Daddies know everything". Unfortunately he learned all too soon, or at least came to believe, that daddies DON'T know everything. The phrase came to be a joke between us which one or the other of us would quote, depending on the circumstances. Some of the teenage years were hard ones for Jeremy and me. Over the years, Jeremy would often call me for advice. And I would often yell at him when he forgot to ask or didn't accept my advice. But we got through those years with our love and respect for each other intact.

My disease has been very upsetting for Jeremy because he likes certainty, and, like all of us, he doesn't want to accept possible bad outcomes.  In talking with Jeremy about my condition, its progress and prognosis, I have tried to reassure him by telling him that he is going to be all right, even without my badgering him about what he should or should not be doing. In fact, I KNOW that, just as sure as I knew we were going to get to the movie on time. Jeremy is well equipped with a superbright mind, a loving heart, a willingness to work harder than anyone else, and a supportive wife. 

I have told Jeremy, and I firmly believe this:  Much of success in life is simply showing up on time and working hard. He will be all right. I have repeated that phrase to Jeremy many times and he has finally come to the place where he can say with a smile, "I know you're right, because daddies know everything."


Unknown said...

When my daughter Mary Lucille came home from girl scout camp she was telling me of her adventure. She told me that she had learned to canoe sure that she had learned a skill I did not know. "Oh'" I asked,"did they teach you the J-stroke?"

She burst into tears and ran from the room to her mother's side. I followed, stood in the doorway and heard her say between the sobs, "Dad knows EVERYTHING! -- and if he doesn't he will fake it!"

Unknown said...

I love this, John! You are a great dad!

Unknown said...

Love this post!

Debra Hope said...

Amazing how smart Dads get as one ages . . . when I was 20 mine knew absolutely nothing, but now that he's approaching 90, he's a freaking genius! For real!

Jean Weigel said...

John (and Rosalee) -- so pleased to read the two messages for 2016. Wonderful!

I'm not in New Yorker this session -- too many other classes to keep up with -- but I am certainly thinking of both of you and sending very good thoughts.

Jean Weigel

Cynthia said...

I've caught up with you again. A few years ago, it looked to me as if you'd stopped blogging, so I quit following. Recently, because I am apparently one of my fondest fans, I've been re-reading (and appreciating and laughing out loud at) some of my old posts and I found a comment from you. So I clicked on the icon, and here you are, blogging in 2016. I've read some of your recent, older posts and I wish you all the best. Looks like you're doing fine. I look forward to reading more from you.