29 July 2013

Daddy's Girl

 Execution of Noa P Singleton by Elizabeth Silver

This post was inspired by the novel The Execution of Noa P. Singleton, by Elizabeth L. Silver. Mere months before Noa's execution, her victim's mother changed her mind about Noa's sentence and vows to help stay the execution. Join From Left to Write on July 30 as we discuss The Execution of Noa P. Singleton.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

I wasn't quite sure what to think when I read the jacket of this book.  I wasn't quite sure what to think when I finished the first chapter.  Or the second.  The writing is terrific and it grabbed me right away.  The story was, honestly, a little hard for me to read at first.  

I didn't really understand Noa, and what she was thinking. As I read more about the relationship between Noa and her father, I began to understand her a little bit better.  It's fascinating to me, how we repeat patterns in our relationships in spite of our efforts to change those patterns, and even the relationships we say we don't want affect and influence us. 

I did not, and I have a few female friends who did not, have good or healthy relationships with their fathers.  I have heard it said and read in several places, that a child's relationships with the opposite-sex parent sets a course for that child's future relationships with members of the opposite sex, and from the vantage point of 40-plus years of life experience, it sure seems to be true.  When I was younger I didn't always see it that way, and took some pride in choosing relationships with men that drove my father crazy, simply for the purpose of driving him crazy.  For the record, I did outgrow my daddy-rebellion and my husband is only like my father in that he is a guy.  Thank goodness.  My dad informed my parenting to the extent that he showed me what not to do.

What is really interesting to me is that, ironically, I am a parent to only male children, and I am extremely aware of how, by my mothering, I am determining to some extent the kind of woman my sons will likely be drawn to.  It reassures me and scares me at the same time.  I think we have good and healthy relationships and I am very hopeful that will continue once they are all teenagers.  (Only one of them is right now; so far so good).  I hope to raise good boys who will grow into good men. 

I pray that I will use my influence wisely, and teach them well.  I pray that when they are grown, their memories of me will be happy; that I will have been a good example of how to love a child. 

I am the daughter my father raised, but I am not Daddy's girl.  It seems to me that although she professed not to care, Noa was her father's daughter, more than she thought.