It was worth being woken up from my Sunday nap to get a terrific Father’s Day present: a phone call from my daughter, Celeste. Our connection was all the way from urban hip Hollywood, California to rural laidback Camp Sherman, Oregon.
Today I felt that I’d earned a nap after rousing myself enough to take my bike into Sisters and get a flat tire fixed. After talking with Celeste I felt like I needed another nap. Listening to her passionate 34-year old plans for the future with my lethargic 57-year old psyche was a vicarious energy drain.
And also, hugely satisfying. Yeah, it’s a cliché, but I kept thinking, “The torch is passed.” The flame of my own life is burning less brightly now. Outwardly, at least. I’ve lost much of my youthful desire to change the world and make a name for myself. Celeste hasn’t. I couldn’t be prouder of her.
Not just because of what she’s doing: planning to start three entrepreneurial enterprises while still working as a highly successful manager with Oliver Peoples designer eyewear. My daughter told me that she intends to be a millionaire by next year. I’m confident that she will be.
Celeste already is priceless to me, though, for who she is. I love her creativity, her enthusiasm, her competitive drive, her sense of humor, her intelligence, her good looks. (Here she is in 2005 looking L.A. shopping stylish at the Prada store on Rodeo Drive.)
Gosh, she reminds me of a younger me, as unhumble as that may sound. Which is a large part of the joy of fatherhood. I’d like to live much longer than my allotted life span. Through Celeste, I will.
And if she ever has the child that I shamelessly urge her to bear so that the one and only child of her one and only father will not have to leave this earth grandchildless, then I’ll live on even longer. If the wheel of life continues to revolve through her progeny, forever.
Hanging up the phone a few hours ago, I was filled with emotions. One of which was relief. For over thirty years I’ve been burdened with a semi-subliminal worry about that baby-shaking episode (see reason #4). It’s gone now.
My daughter has survived all the mistakes her father and mother made raising her. Not only survived, thrived. What a great Father’s Day gift you are, Celeste. Thank you. There are no more words.