Mr. Adler

“It never occurred to me until writing this essay that “normal” father-daughter relationships do not develop over talking in a restaurant.”

And herein lies the value of Language Arts.

It makes me wonder- were others lucky enough to have a teacher challenge them with the hard questions?

What happened to you?

Where is important to you?

Why do you write?

I attended an all-girls boarding school, whereupon 70% of the faculty, including my Language Arts teacher and his wife, lived on campus.  

It was late, after dinner, when I witnessed him reading my very personal essay.  It was both terrifying and exhilarating to speak my truth.

My second chance lives with my future children,” I wrote “and their relationship with me and their father.  I can use the lessons that I have learned from my family situation as a guide to how I will choose to live mine.  For now, I will continue to meet my father on the corner of Shirley and Colley Ave. for some beef with broccoli and a two hour talk about how my life is going.”  

I was seventeen.  

And 21 years later, that’s exactly what I do. 

I use the lessons I learn, through writing, to choose how I live mine.  

Camille Vaughan Photography
Karl Adler

Meet Me Halfway

It’s that moment no one wants to admit. 

The one where you know you wanted it more than them. 

I could argue I spent my entire childhood in this state. 

The one where I was the bastard child, and they were the full-blood. 

The one where I was lucky he wanted to keep in touch with me. 

Yes, in my child’s mind,  I had to be worthy. 

And it never left me. 

I’ve lived a life proving myself worthy. 

And you know what?

I’m tired. 

I’m too tired. 

I. am. worthy. 

If you want me, then meet me halfway.  

I’m worthy. 

Camille Vaughan Photography

Daddy

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It took me just 24 years to find you. I knew what I was looking for: Someone steadfastly loyal, fun, athletic, adventurous, hard-working, handy, handsome, sincere, and loving.  Someone who would make an incredible father.

Fast-forward ten years.  Just weeks away from expecting our fourth child, everyone is rooting for you to have a son.  And, of course, in many ways, I am, too.  After experiencing The Nutcracker with our eldest daughter, I wanted you to have solo-outings fishing and camping with your son, just like that.

But God knew what he was doing when he blessed three daughters with you as their father and a fourth would be just as fortunate. When our middle daughter asked if she could marry you, my heart burst with pride.  I explained that you were “taken” but that someone like you would be perfect.

In my life, I’ve been hurt with words and fists, with absence and distance, with broken promises and a broken heart, but never by you.

If I have done anything right in my life, it is in finding and choosing you.  It has been bearing your children and witnessing you teach and encourage them.

Yes, they will remember gardening and fixing things with you, but what they may not even realize is that they will continue to look for you in the face of every partner they choose.

Someone who supports her unique passions and feelings.  Someone who challenges her.  Someone who holds her hand.  Someone who loves her through and through.

So while I do not know whether this child is our son or daughter, I do know that they will know what it is to be loved by an incredible man, by the best father. By you.

 

Camille Vaughan Photography