FEEL GOOD FRIDAY: Mondays and Fridays.

by Dave Markwell

“I think it’s kind of mean that Monday is so far from Friday, but Friday is so close to Monday.”

– My eleven year old daughter, Helena.

These simple, yet astute, words made me turn my head in discount double-check maneuver with a “what did you just say” look on my face. When the dim bulb of my awareness finally lit in recognition that these were some interesting words, I was surprised and proud.

I was surprised first, because I had never considered the Friday/Monday relationship in this way. I was surprised second, because my daughter was the one who surprised me this this idea. I was proud that I was surprised.

On a Sunday night while already lamenting the following morning, my little girl said these profound words. Most of the free world shares this sentiment on a Sunday night. Songs have been written about Mondays, not kind one’s, and a collective lack of enthusiasm surrounds this day. Mondays really do feel mean sometimes. I get it.

My daughter surprised me with her words mostly because it was a new way of surprising me. During her years on this earth, beginning with day one, she has surprised me: She has surprised me about the differences between little boys and little girls. (Besides the obvious one…) She has surprised me with her independence and strength. She has surprised me with her personal development in every way, every step of the way. Mainly, she has surprised me with the understanding of how much a father can love a daughter.

With this in mind, perhaps I should not have been surprised. She has been surprising me for a long time. However, this was a bit different. I could actually relate to her statement in a new way. It was an intellectual understanding, not an emotional one or one of perspective. This is new.

Now, the “mouths of babes” have a history of revealing truths, often unintentionally. The distinction here is that my girl “got it”. She knew what she was saying and as pedestrian as the idea may seem, to me, having experienced every step of her evolution, I know this is different and significant.

I’m not sure if I should be happy or scared that my eleven year old daughter is inching closer to being my intellectual equal. She is a kid. I am a full-grown, well-read, experienced-in-the-ways-of-the-world, educated American man. She is a little girl. But, she’s also more. And this is the part that will challenge me.

Well, sometimes there is nothing to be done. So, I will steel myself and my self-esteem for the inevitable changing of the guard. I will prepare myself to ask my daughter questions that I don’t know the answers to, but she does. I will pass her the torch of whatever brightness I possess. And I will take the light from her torch to brighten my own. I will do all of this with pride and dignity…after all…I lit her damn torch in the first place!!!

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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