July 13, 2010

{How Could I Do That?}

When Raka and I first rode bikes together it was cute to watch her try to keep up with me. Now when Raka and I ride our bikes to the park, she thinks it’s cute for me to try to keep up with her!  It was amazing to see her in front of me on the way to the park last week. I remember the two of us riding around the same Cherry Creek Reservoir seven years back.  I just cannot believe how time has simply whizzed past me! My baby is now a beautiful young lady!

A few times during our ride last week the chain in her bike had to be fixed and she pulled to the side of the path to do it herself.  I remember the days when she would make me fix her bike chain, but today it is different.  As we rode, we talked.  The talk was initially casual and then it became quite deep.  

As our conversation went on, I asked her something that was bothering me. Bothering is too strong a word, I should say instead that it was perplexing me. I asked her why is it that she and I are both interested in photography, but she does not take interest in the pictures I take. I also asked her why does not take pictures with me.

The whole thing was kinda odd.

Then Raka dropped the bomb on me. “Dad, of course you do not remember that one of the first times I took pictures, you were the first to see them. You did not like them, Dad. You said that the pictures were bad.  It is only when Oni kaka (uncle) and Mom looked at the pictures that I got praise and I continued to take pictures.” 

I was stunned. I was in shock.  Did I not learn anything from days of painting the red sky?  I was hurt, embarrassed and ashamed. It was true that we do not make the same mistakes that were made to us, we invent new mistakes. I was glad that in this case my brother and Raka’s mom were there to nullify my stupidity.

In my shame and embarrassment, I tried to argue with Raka. “Why would you listen to me when I know nothing about photography?” Raka simply stared at me. I knew that there was no denying that I had screwed up.

The rest of the evening I apologized and gave her hugs. Finally at the end of the evening, I told her that my mistake was in the past and I am seriously sorry about it, but I do not want that mistake to remain in the present.  Raka looked at me. With kindness yet assertiveness, she said, “Dad I had forgiven you long time back,” But she did not finish her statement, she had not forgotten. It made me sad.

The next day I got her a cute cup that is for cool photographers. I had gotten it for her birthday, but I decided to get it out early.  She smiled at me and said, “You are still trying hard to come back, aren’t you?”  She smiled.

Yes I was. It hurts to know that I was insensitive enough to hurt you, my baby. I know the pain is still real as you will not show me the pictures that I passed my judgment on. Maybe someday.
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