18 Bobbie Pins

Editorial by David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

Worth is an elusive feeling. Sometimes it feeling like we have lots of worth, and then none. Teenagers seem at times to be what takes away my feelings of worth. They are gaining their independence and trying to get up on their own, what is dad really worth? My wallet may be more relevant than I. These are universal themes. Ones held by many parents. Maybe there is some truth in those feelings, maybe not.

I have long known that kids often show rather than say. I mean, theyare still figuring out their own worth, then to have to reflect mine, Yea, right, whatever dad.

I think you have to be more observant and take the small moments to appreciate what you mean to your teen. 18 Bobbie pins worth, that is one of my worth markers. 18 precious Bobbie pins and one rubber band.

My Little Bit had her 8th grade formal this last weekend. I drove up to take some pictures of her getting ready. It was a day spent in the nail salon, and beauty shop. I sat quietly and snapped pictures.

I watched as they dremel tooled my daughter’s nails in prep for the fake nails to come. A shiver went up my spine with each nail they prepped. I watched as they laid down coat after coat of pink and then top coated it with clear coat. Her nails were beautiful when done.

In the beauty shop, she had most of her below the shoulder hair curled in big loopy curls that cascaded down her back. The sides became braids that were wrapped into some of the curled locks and wound into a bun, all secured with Bobbie pins.

I had that dad moment when I looked at her and began to see the young woman that she is fast becoming. Watch out world, I am just saying, watch out.

She went home and got into her dress and started the makeup process, and said “No Pictures”. I walked away knowing that my interactions from here on would be limited. Her independence streak was surfacing. I did not blame her, this was her dance, and not mine, I gracefully gave way and let her do what she needed to do.

She met up with a friend at the dance and the two looked so excited. I retired to the porch to watch the rolling clouds, and kill two hours before going to pick her up. I was trying to think about who I was as dad, without being the photographer. Without taking pictures, who was I? Don’t sit on the porch when your daughter is at her dance, just go do something. Dads, just go do anything.

After she was home and I went into say goodnight and my goodbyes, as I was driving home that night. she asked me to say another hour. Ok. I sat beside her on her bed, and she began to pull the Bobbie pins out of her bun of braided hair. I held out my hand and she dropped them on my palm, and counted. She began to struggle and said her nails were making it hard, so I placed the pins in her hand and began to pull Bobbie pins out from her hair. We unraveled her hair and talked for a few more minutes. I kissed her good night and walked out to say goodbye to the rest of the crew. In my hand were the Bobbie Pins. I slid them in my pocket.

They are now a fixture in the memory cabinet, right beside the numbers 1 and two from her 12th birthday cake. She probably did and does not know what those 18 Bobbie Pins represent. To me, I can be helpful and needed by my daughter. It may be two minutes at a time, but I will take it.

Of all the titles I’ve been privileged to have, ‘Dad’ has always been the best.” ―Ken Norton

Categories: Editor Thoughts

1 reply

  1. What a great perspective on them growing . We have to embrace all we can . Thanks for sharing this heartfelt story.


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