There are some imbeciles who portray Judaism as a racial supremacy type of religion. My mother and father are traditional liberals who supported Civil Rights, but were anti communist.
My daughter is different from us in many ways. She is much darker then even my brother who is much darker then myself. She is sweet in nature and more into crafts then books. My brother and I would read books that way ahead of schedule. We come from a very proud tradition of intellectual debate and love of arts and letters. My daughter does not come from those traditions but has learned to appreciate a classic musical and is perplexed by my loathing of Streisand.
As my parents age and they work less the phone calls and visits from my daughter mean very much to them. My mother seldom gets angry at me and she let me have it when I told my daughter not to bother her with crafts. My mother was going in for a serious procedure and at such a time making Jello with a sincere nine year old seemed silly. My mother saw her right away and spent time in the Kitchen making Jello before a major medical procedure.
When my daughter encounters people from the community they are very loving towards a sweet kid who is different. Maybe, she lacks the reading ability of members of my family and she also lacks my mischievous
sense of humor, but she is good natured. If anything members of the community have reminded me about patience and that the abilities displayed by members of my family are exceptional and not the rule.
My daughter may not be book smart but she has learned to observe things in an almost officer like way. At a
community event she noticed that members of the local community are very respectful. I might be in the Kitchen creating some monstrosity, but I take the time to listen to a neighbor confused about law. I sometimes even let them share the meal and am modest about it. My poor kid can even repeat the part where I explain about law being a confusing process and its no trouble. She does prefer to let me talk in businesses but is not shy among my friends and family.
One of my first bosses lives by Coney Island. He is in his seventies and has no family. My daughter was like a ray of sunshine to this friend. It seems absurd but he enjoyed playing Ski ball with two grouchy old timers and she made a sand castle or two to the amazement of this friend. It meant very much to him and my daughter got to hear stories of long forgotten entertainers and how physically strong I was. He is like an extra grandparent.
It comes as a great shock that some people are making odd claims about being pressured to marry Jewish due to the Holocaust. Even the family of Rav Roov is very respectful of my daughter. I avoid contact with them because at times they appear socially backwards. I am pained often being frum translates into selfishness, cluelessness, cultural ineptitude and lack of graces.
The moral of the story is that members of my family and community accept and welcome my daughter despite her differences in appearance and abilities. We accept and love her as a sweet kid. Maybe the only thing she ever learned from me was be yourself and don't apologize for it. It also helps if you are naturally good natured.
I remember a previous relationship where my lack of religious conviction was twisted into my being amoral
and unfit to be around kids. The criticism hurt at the time and I took it to heart. I remember AOW saying the
whole thing was silly. Yes, I do spend time with the daughter and am very loved by the step grandkids even if they raid my stash of food. I remember a rant about NY Deli pickles and letting one of them steal a few packs of Sweedish fish. How the kid even figured out what was in the wrapper was priceless. She pronounces fishes almost like the word feces.
The kids listen as I tell them stories about the strange people that live in the land of snow and beer.It is an amazing place where neighbors help each other and the very poor live off the land. I remember joking about female neighbors skill with chainsaws and firearms during Sandy. That being said I never saw a pink chainsaw but I saw all types of women from smoking hot babes to ordinary grannies use them.
I talk very much about being an officer that sometimes reading this blog I am also a family man. I remember the top boss being very charming and patient with my daughter at an event. Officer Beakerkin, I didn't know you had such a wonderful daughter who loves you very much. I guess those that see me slaying dragons and serving the public imagine me differently. While being an officer is part of my existence being a father and grandfather is even more important.
Maybe you know you are old and certified when your dreams go from sexual conquests to reliving a day at the amusement park with the kids. Maybe you are old when your most cherished possession is a hand made fathers day card instead of a stock certificate.
Never, planned on being a father or thought I would embrace the role. I remember my parents, AOW and close family friends telling me you will do fine just be yourself. Just being yourself is how I live my life and parenting style. Like any other parent I have my moments like the time my daughter stole a spinach roll from me at Ben's Best Deli on 38th. I remember the waitress cutting me off and saying having a daughter want spinach is a good thing. She also ordered another one on the double. Maybe someday I will take some of the older grandkids to Bens Best.