As dusk falls and we enter the holiest day of the Jewish year, my thoughts turn to my dad. I know so much more now about the beautiful, kind, lost, complicated man in this photograph, not to mention the child on his lap who loved him more than anything. Tonight there will be four candles burning on my kitchen counter: one for my mother-in-law, one for my father-in-law, one for my mother, one for my dad. All gone, now. But it is my dad who I’m thinking about most of all. Though I’m not observant in the traditional sense — at least not at this moment in time — my devotion and the rituals that keep me grounded come from him.
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There is no perfect recipe to parenting, and after almost 8 years, I finally learned that I’m never going to get it all right, all the time. I’m never going to always say all the right things. I’m never going to always be the perfect person in her eyes. There will be days when she won’t want to talk to me, and they’ll be days when I don’t want to talk to her; I know that. .
This little girl has been through so much in her life already, and despite every challenge, adversity, or disappointment, she always fires back with such genuine heart and a beautiful smile. I envy her innocence, I envy her purity, I envy the fact that she hasn’t lost faith in the people that she loves.
I took a video yesterday on the way home, because I was horribly lip-synching current pop songs that I hardly knew the words to, and so I secretly took a video, because little did she know, but I needed that laugh yesterday more than she realized. .