I try not to think about it, but I can't help it.
I put my life in Raccoon's hands. And she just played with it and ended up, as it is now, dropping it, showing she doesn't really care too much about it.
I put my life in Gunner's hands too. She didn't want it at first, and for a while seemed willing to not just drop it, but throw it away. Then she took it, saved it, restored it, washed it and mended it. I put my life in Gunner's little hands; and she proved she was the girl for the task.
"I wish you were my dad. You are so cool and understanding and you listen to us."
I was not, and am not, permissive or soft. I just believe in personhood and in treating minors as persons. I just believe in freedom and will always strive to give minors freedom, so they can be themselves. I believe in consequences as the logical corollary to freedom and as such I will both warn about them, allow them to happen, and be willing to help a girl pick up the pieces when they do. And while I believe in convincing and in teaching, I also believe that prohibitions don't work in preventing behavior; instead they just push it underground, where it is more dangerous, where people involved are more dangerous or reckless, where consequences are worse, and where ameliorating inteventions are impossible or happen too late.
That is why I need to listen. That is why I need disclosure and information from girls. Concealment may be worse than direct misbehavior. I need to know her questions, her doubts, her desires and her motivations, her triggers and her attractions, her attachments and her sorrows. Only then can I know how best to advice her, how best to help her, and how best to defend her from the forces of the world. And yes, more often than not that will imply to give her the chance to test and experience for herself her decisions and the consequences thereof. With my advice and guidance, but respectful even of decisions I know to be wrong. To an inexpert observer, that makes me permissive or soft. When I see what I have got after all these years, though, I'm pretty sure I did right. Even with Raccoon.
What I can't understand and grasp is how she, knowing all of that, having lived all of that (and what is more, still relying on that!) denies Gunner the same. Raccoon, more than anyone, knows what I'm doing. I've done it for her too. And whether or not she likes it, since it is my responsibility as a Girl Lover to his Girl, I will do it for Gunner.
I'm not her dad. I've never wanted to. I've always made it clear.
I'm something else, different, not substitute, but valuable too: I'm a Girl Lover.
Gunner and I almost have a dad and daughter relationship. Through my mistakes it broke. Through her love, it returned. But not completely, not the same way. She loves me just as much; maybe even more. But now she loves me weakly as a dad and strongly as a Girl Lover. We are equals now.
Again, what most upset me was to see her cry. To see her defeated. To see her denied. To see her not be given the confidence vote she deserves.
When I say she can do it, I don't say it out of sparkly eyed infatuation. I say it out of informed knowledge of what she is and what she can achieve.
In some ways she hasn't reached the depths of mutual reliance I have with Thatcher now, had with Raccoon before, pursued with Cousin and got for preciously short moments with Rroma. In other ways, she has reached a much deeper level than anyone else in my whole life.
When I say she can, she can.
To me it's nearly a crime to doubt she can.
I will prove them wrong.
Like she proved them wrong when she decided her Love could conquer all.
"Why do you want it to be so?"
"Because it's the better for you. You know it."
"Mmmmh, yeah, I know it... but only that?"
"Well, mostly that. But, yes, because then I'd see you more..." (did I blush?)
I knew she wanted that acknowledgment.
I'm not one to deny the Messiah.
Well yeah, if the better meant not to see her, I'd still do it, and I told her so. But if life gives you synergies, why waste them?
Now if only she doesn't shower during the whole summer break, that'd be perfect!