Don’t Poke the Bear (aka Dad)

The relationship between dads and daughters is a complex one. No one could ever anger you more – or love you more – than your dad. That is if you have one who is present in your life. Many people grow up without one, or one who is part-time, darting in and out of life as it’s convenient to do so.


I’m no different than anyone else on the complicated scale of daddy vs. daughter relationships. My Dad loves me, that is fact one. He also gets under my skin quicker than anyone on the planet, fact two. He has a joke that goes like this…”I know how to make you mad in two seconds or less..” And, he’s right. He can and does, quite often to his delight.

The nature of our relationship means that I am often reluctant to tell him anything that may worry him. I shy away from giving him bad news. I want him to believe and know that all is right in his only daughter’s world.

It’s not been easy to hide from him how wrong my life has been recently. My life has been all shades of wrong. What I’ve found after undergoing a challenging fall is that my Dad is there. Simply there. When I hurt, he hurts. When I’m mad, he’s mad. And, when I feel like I am about to completely crack apart in a million pieces, he holds me together.

A day ago, I had something happen that upset me so much that I wanted to give up, toss in the towel, shut the computer, and shut down. I talked to my Dad, not intending to let him know how upset I was, but he knew from my tone of voice. When I finally told him what had me so upset, he paused…and then roared. Not at me though, at the circumstances that had made his little girl feel so helpless and defeated.

My Dad took a pause on the phone and said these words. “That makes me mad as H (fill in the blank).”

The bear was poked. Yes, my Dad is like the worst Grizzly Bear the Alaskan Wilderness has ever seen. And, when he lets go of his call of the wild, God help anyone who is downstream. I know. He’s let it go on me a time or two.

I’m far from the age of a child today and I don’t expect my Dad to solve my problems. I solve my own. It’s nice to know though, that even at my age, as a full grown adult, my Dad is still there. Still in my corner and ready to take on the world just for me. He would fight the Devil himself for me; and he just might win.

Five years ago, when I brought HC home, I waited months before ever telling my Dad. I just knew he would want nothing to do with a cat. But I was wrong. HC enjoys treats in her stocking each Christmas from Santa Dad and she also is known to wrap around and sleep at his feet when he’s visiting my house, ensconced in the La-Z-Boy chair.

For all of his gruffness, he loves who and what I love…even if that love is focused on a 20 pound orange ball of fur.

I pity the fool that ever crosses my Dad’s path in the wilderness. He doesn’t take too kindly to pokes, especially when they’re directed at his little girl.






6 thoughts on “Don’t Poke the Bear (aka Dad)

  1. As complicated as relations can be with our parents, I think only kids have it better and harder at the same time. We never wonder if they love us best, how could they not?! But it makes lying to them about anything (even if it’s just by omission) tough, I never learned to be a good lier. If they didn’t do it – I was the only one left, no one else to blame. And the responsibility can be brutal. When my Mom died, I worried so much about my Dad. I had to work hard to keep myself from taking on responsibilities that were not and should not be mine. I blame Anne for that success, on my own I think I’d have failed.


    1. True words Lennie; as only children we also share a strong sense of responsibility. We carry that with us throughout our entire lives; always looking over our shoulders, and never really feeling free. When we have moments of feeling carefree, we also feel guilty.


  2. As a dad I now cry easier than I did in the past and yes I am bit grumpier. My main goal is just to be there when she needs me, anything further will be icing on the cake. Just a dance before I go to sleep.


  3. Love this post, Jen!! Thinking of you sweet friend. God is in control. As Steve Harvey says, “Don’t jump off Faith St to take a different road, God’s delivery is on its way. If you turn off Faith St to get on Temptation Hwy, you will miss his package!” This quote is not verbatim, but you get the jist of it. Love you always!


    1. Thanks Amanda! Glad you liked the post and like the blog. I am staying strong and firm on Faith Street. Love you always too and thank you for all your prayers and support over the years. I pray for good things for you too!


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