The Rabbi’s Daughter

“So I watched this thing…it’s going around…”

They are looking at me, waiting, and I realize it is too late.  I will say it.

“It’s called The Rabbi’s Daughter…”

My father’s eyes raise and I almost swallow the words, even though I know I can’t.

“It reminded me of you…of us.”

And then I am describing the scene, the one where the girl is baring her soul to her father, showing her a piece of him that is so raw and so full of confusion…the part where they watch her creation float across the screen…the image of him walking…her circling him in his shadow, at the end of his shadow…always, always in his shadow…and then he smiles and reaches for a book…and her face shows sorrow and acceptance…as he finds a quote…intellectualizing her experience…explaining it…his way…even though it is hers…

And my father…my teacher…my very own Rabbi…is nodding his head in a way that shows me he knows…very well…why I am telling him this…and he is sort of pulling away…wanting to leave the conversation…

But…

He stays.

We wrap it up easily.  He kids a bit about how I tried to smooth my choice of topic over with a silly comment about his lack of emotional capacity…just so I wouldn’t be disappointed…and in very few words he calls my bluff.

And then the goodbye is easy, comfortable…and I am so incredibly in awe of him…of them…the only two people in my life who were willing…eager…to change…just so that we could hold a conversation where things that aren’t so nice to hear…can be said, accepted…and embraced.

Father Of Mine

The discussion was about Divine Intervention and whether it is an integral aspect of belief.

It was mostly intellectual with the bouts of emotions (that always seem to trickle through with me) getting properly addressed and shelved by the most significant influence in my life.

First, my mother left.

She tried to pipe in with emotions at the forefront.

It wasn’t the point so she lost interest.

Then my brother tried to lighten the mood with irrelevant quips.  He went back and forth from the computer screen, seemingly trying to take part, but on his terms which were to change the topic and make everyone laugh.

Soon it was just my father.

On my side of the world, the topic pulled my husband in and sat him next to me as we worked through a complex topic that needed less than a screen between us all.

My father closed with a comment that made my heart sing.

“And that’s all for this session of intellectual conversation between father and daughter.”

And I flew.

My husband and I talked about why our stimulating, interesting conversation bored or turned off other members of my family.  He wondered if they don’t know how to participate in open communication based solely on intellect.  I’m not sure that’s true.  I supposed that maybe they thought it was a fight.  Or that it was a session between teacher and student – that he was trying to guide me.

I thought it was incredible bonding and loving.

Maybe that’s because everything I always thought about my relationship with my father was based on a childish view on genders.

I was positive my father wished I were a boy.  My theory was that he enjoyed our learning sessions but was secretly upset that it meant nothing because I was unfortunate to be born a female.  I saw the look in his eyes when he practically begged his sons to learn and then they would drift off or get angry when they didn’t like the way he taught them.  Then he would reluctantly sit down with me.  I was so jealous of them.  I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t want his attention.  I thought his brain focusing on me was the most amazing thing in the world and I craved that intellectual attention.

I still think it’s great.  And I still crave it.

But after this long over-due conversation I realize that all those years of resentment were based on nothing but my silly insecurities that held me back from a deeper relationship with my father.

I saw a look in his eyes that I recognized from my childhood, sitting at the dining room table trying not to jump in with an answer to his question before he completed his thoughts.

He enjoyed every minute of those learning sessions.

That look in his eyes that I took to mean disappointment that I wasn’t a son…I’m pretty damn sure it was a look of pride that it was his daughter who was capable, willing and craving to grow up to be the one he could stroll through the throes of intellectual connectivity with.

So until next time…

Your Daughter.

P.S.  Is this a good, non-sensational blog post? Wouldn’t want to disappoint you…:)