Reflected joy

Sometimes it’s nice to bask in the light, even if it’s reflected light.

That’s just what a weekend trip to visit our oldest daughter at grad school in Missouri felt like. Not only is it a nice campus and city, her unmistakable enjoyment of where she’s at, the friends she’s made and life in general couldn’t do anything but make it a wonderful weekend.

Granted, there’s an emotional toll when kids leave and start striking out on their own. Yet for both my wife and I there is an even greater emotional thrill in seeing the young adult we raised so happy, dedicated and full of life. It’s got to be hard going to a new school in a state you’ve never been to and where you don’t know a soul. Yet in the short span of seven weeks she has not only settled it, the look on her face and the friends of hers we met indicate this was a perfect fit and the perfect place.

The hardcore cynic in me might say it’s only after your early 20s that your altruism and idealism are crushed. But this certainly isn’t a woman with blinders on so her enthusiasm and excitement for where she is, what she’s doing and the people she’s come to know is highly infectious. And seeing a daughter emanating “happy happy joy joy” can only make a parent feel the same.

The good father does not have to be perfect. Rather, he has to be good enough to help his daughter to become a woman who is reasonably self-confident, self-sufficient, and free of crippling self-doubt, and to feel at ease in the company of men.

Victoria Secunda, Women and Their Fathers

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