It's not always about being funny.


When I hear about the intense pride, affection and love that my friends have for their children, I sometimes feel a little tug. A quick grasp on my leg. I look down and

“Come play with me, Daddy,” she says, and her red hair bounces slightly as she cranes her neck to look at me. I reach out and her hand is swallowed whole by my huge hairy paw. We walk down the beach and talk amongst the crabs and seashells of toys and boys and everything between. She speaks quickly in an almost nonstop flow of chatter about her imaginary friends and her adventures and her dreams and aspirations and why she wants to be an astronaut and ride dolphins in space. I nod without condescension and my smile on the inside threatens to split me like a pinata.

She talks about marrying her daddy and tells me she loves me. I love her too and tell her that her daddy is the only person she could marry, because no other man would treat her the way that she deserves. She looks me in the eyes sagely, nods her head, and changes the subject to her disdain for dolls and her love of robots who transform. I teach her about truth and justice and why Superman is the best hero ever. She teaches me about beauty and grace and why dirty hands and messy faces don’t really matter.

She gets older and I am her protector and knight in armor. I shield her from the horrors of the world while teaching her to be vigilant and savvy. We talk about weighty issues and her innocence and optimism pull me back from the brink of darkness repeatedly. I hesitantly let her venture out alone. I hold my breath and sit by the door until she returns. I rebel against her independence and strength until I realize that it is a reflection of me, only more perfect.

I’m her best friend. Her confidante. She tells me everything when I tuck her in and read her stories. She calls me from school and talks about her classes and boyfriends. She asks me about my life and pushes me to do more. She’s never embarrassed of me or ashamed that I am the way I am. She embraces it all and loves me as unconditionally as I love her.

When she brings him home, I hate him. He’s taking her away from me. “I’ll always belong to you, Daddy,” she says, taking my hand, reading my mind. I wonder when she became so perceptive. Her china white fingers look so fragile, but I know she’s strong. I have to let her go. Someone with her spirit and courage needs to belong to the world. I’ve done my job and can’t be selfish any longer.

There’s that tug again. A quick grasp on my leg. I look down and

It must have just been my imagination.

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152 Replies to “Tugging”

  1. bluepaintred

    Adam this is serious. You CANNOT take medicine not prescribed to you. give Britt and Amy back their birth control pills Right.Now.

    Extra estrogen will mess with your mind AND your body

    (unrelated : did you get rid of your smilies? I cannot find them)

    • Avitable

      @bluepaintred, my smilies were lost when my template changed. I plan on getting them back someday. And I know you have a ton of pride and affection for your kids – I just had to pick a few posts that jumped out at me from the top of my head.

  2. hello haha narf

    of course that part about “never” being embarrassed by you? yeah, i ain’t buying that. i was a teenaged girl and we are fucked up…our parents embarrass us because they breathe and exist. we get over it, but it ain’t pretty there for a bit!!

  3. Faiqa

    You would be a wonderful dad. You should have a daughter. I fear for the son that you might produce. And hello, WTF I talk about my kids all the time, why the hell am I not linked up there. Bastard. πŸ˜‰

  4. Blondefabulous

    Ah…… who are you and where is the real Adam?

    Very beautiful. The thought that went into this post hints you’ve thought of this before. I think you’d be great as a Dad. You’ve probably seen it all by now and could totally protect a daughter. I’d worry about a son….. a mini Adam might be more than the world could take!

  5. Sheila (Charm School Reject)

    I was really expecting you to end that with something about your dog and make fun of us schmucks that trip all over themselves to tell you the new word our kid learned.

    Color me impressed.

    And yes, you’d make a fantastic daddy. Just teach her early to wax if she inherits your hairiness, m’kay?

  6. Nancy

    I didn’t open this from Twitter at worked because I totally figured a post of yours entitled “Tugged” *had* to be about masturbation. And, well, I *am* and work and have to save such instructional…uh…humor…for home.

    Well, you disappointed me, Adam. Next time you lure me in with hints of Vegas hookers and give me sentimental sweetness, we’ll be through. ;p

  7. Elizabeth (@claritychaos)

    Hey there. Usually I read and run when I’m here but I had to pop in and say that I really liked this post. (Here via Schmutzie’s Five Star Friday list from a couple weeks ago, actually.) Anyway, I like the vividness of your imagination, and that at least on this day, you pictured a daughter. It made me smile.

  8. melissa

    adopt a dog. more specifically, a silky terrier. they don’t whine unless they are hungry. they only bark if squirrels, people, leaves, other dogs or shadows come within 155 miles of the house. AND…if they poop on the floor, it doesn’t smell nearly as bad as a dirty diaper.
    Or have a kid.

  9. Jason

    Adam, being the father to a little girl, I know how they can end you with their smile. You still have time, heck our bodies continually make sperm well into old age. I am on your side and will be keeping my eyes open.

  10. Hockeymandad

    Wow, this was really awesome. I can relate to so many things, yet often they are not easy to describe. I am not quite ready yet for the second half of your story but perhaps thats because I am ok with waiting for it’s time. Enjoying the present, savoring the past, and anticipating the future.

    Although I haven’t known you for very long, but I can say with certainty you have that knack with children. Any dick can be a daddy, but it takes a man to be a father. You will be a great father.

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