I am the proud father of two daughters.
One, by airplane and on the promise of ideas, in pursuit of goodness, enriching experiences and love. The other, on wings and suspended by two thin cables, floating above the stage as Tinkerbell in a tour of Peter Pan that’s playing in Boston at the moment, bringing magic, mystery and enjoyment to thousands of people.
I am the fortunate recipient of these two powerful young women’s love and support, and as I contemplate once again leaving them to pursue their very different dreams and aspirations I am humbled by the enormity of our relationship and its value to me.
I long ago ceased my role as their life steward, having witnessed the evolution of their ability to make wise and considered decisions and choices and developing a confidence in their ability to live well and independently. Where I once guided and counseled I now watch; where I once provided and protected I now revel in their ability to create creative, engaged and giving lives.
They are more than my daughters; they are valued and contributing citizens of the world.
Kirsty and Emme both fly, but they are both grounded in their love of people, their art, pursuit of meaning and their deep and honored commitment to family, friends and those they touch as they make their way in the world.
Of all my accomplishments, they are the most noteworthy. What a pleasure it is to watch them connect with other people, to share the largesse of their talent, intelligence, wisdom and goodness. How gratifying it is to see the world embrace them and all the wonderful qualities them embody.
I have seen Kirsty create deep connections across the world, as easily in lands where she speaks the language fluently as well as those where she may not be able to communicate with language but does so with her heart. Throughout the US, Europe, Central and South America and Southeast Asia, she has touched people with her kindness and genuine love, leaving an indelible impression – a permanent footprint in the sands of many beaches.
I have also seen Emme create a commanding presence as an actor, using skills she has developed over a lifetime to entertain, yes, but more importantly to make statements and build relationships with audiences. Just last night, I witnessed her kind heart, as she knelt before a disadvantaged child after a Peter Pan performance to compliment her on her pretty pink sweatshirt and bless her with a gentle touch from Tinkerbell.
Both of my daughters make their presences felt, but in different ways. At times I marvel at the fact that they come from the same gene pool, and their mother and I will forever share the common bond of a job well done by helping two young girls become the best that they can be and to make the world all the better in the process.
And as Gabi and I prepare to fly – I am completing this post in the food court at Logan Airport – I am struck by the idea that I am not leaving my daughters behind, but joining them in our individual pursuits of what makes us happy and whole. It feels only natural that we should ply our trades in our own, different climes.
We will be apart but together. In very different time zones but completely on the same page. Unable to look into each other’s eyes but in constant contact with each other’s hearts. And all the while, we will remain in possession of an unshakeable love, commitment and connection that will cross the miles, hours and skies to keep us close to one another.
I am the proud father of two daughters. And now it’s my turn to fly.
What a lovely testament. I can only hope my own father feels the same about me, and that I will be half as proud, supportive and hopeful for my sons as they progress from childhood through adolescence and adulthood.