One of the nicest aspects of having your own blog is that you – well in this case I – control the narrative. I get to decide what, when, and how events, thoughts, and interactions are presented to you (my adoring readers). I get to tell you that I patiently helped Eleanor shower and change clothes this morning when she decided to wipe her butt with the white pashmina I was planning to wear to my brother’s wedding this weekend instead of what I really did which was march around my in-laws house muttering under my breath about her bowel movements in the last couple of days before going back down to her and forcing her into the shower with me. I get to tell you that I successfully negotiated a lack of interest in eating the Thai food that grandpa went out to get for dinner rather than saying that I gave in and just let the kids eat leftover spaghetti and meatballs.
See what I mean? I get to make everything sound just a little bit better; I get to make daily life a little bit smoother.
Not long ago, Tim was reading through several comments on a post that I wrote about him. They were thoughtful (all of them), even gushing at times. “I hope you feel good reading those,” I said to him. “You made a difference to a lot of people.”
“Actually, I’m pretty conflicted. I don’t think I’m as good a dad as everyone thinks I am. This makes me sound like an amazing father, when it [the moment in the post] was just this thing I did, without giving it a whole lot of thought.”
I wanted to defend him, his parenting, and what I had written about about that night, but the more I thought about the more I understood. And even agreed. I understand the conflict between wanting to share my experiences with honesty and wanting to keep the story engaging (maybe even humorous). And still these changes that I might make to the narrative or little details of the day don’t make the experience less true; just more interesting.
In the end, I think that one commenter said it best: “What a lucky girl,” she wrote, talking about having Tim as a father. I couldn’t agree more; regardless of whether or not Tim is any particular kind of father (that other people imagine him to be), he is the kind of father who is willing to ask if he is a good father. And that makes him a perfect one. And since I get to write about him and his moments of brilliance as a parent, that makes me a perfect parent too. (Wink, wink!)