Thursday, February 19, 2009

Crazy Daddy

Duck's work on attachment theory led me to think about a daddy and his daughter I ran into this past weekend.

He was dressed in a fairly standard Norwegian dr├Ąckt, and he had his daughter dressed in a bunad I've seen before. I don't know my Norwegian folk costumes very well, but this, it seems to me, is a fairly standard one. It may be the costume that our friend, Jill from Chicago, wears.

Daddy and daughter came to the folk dance workshop last weekend. Daddy was doting on daughter, clearly. Daughter came with a Hardanger fiddle. That's a fiddle with four played strings and four sympathetic strings. It is a very difficult instrument to master, though playing it a little isn't all that hard. Daughter played it a little.

Daddy pushed daughter to play. "Can my daugher play?" he asked the musicians. She played, and played and played. She was a very shy young woman until she got up in front of the crowd with the fiddle. Then it seemed like she'd never quit.

Sunday all the kids got out and had a snowball fight. Snowball fighting kids ranged in age from 8 to 22. They were all kids. Daughter was out in the snowball fight. Daddy was right at the edge of the snowball fight - not participating, but watching.

This was not a healthy Daddy/daughter relationship. Daddys need to let their little girls find their way in the world. If they don't get to play, to dance, to snowball fight on their own, Daddy's need not to step in as a substitute for playmates.

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