Give Yourself PermissionBusiness
“The answer’s simple, Daddy.”
The warm sun, singing birds, and happy afterglow of rolling around on the grass tickling each other made Paul want to believe that his gap-toothed little daughter had the answer, but it was a struggle to prevent laughter from spoiling the seriousness of her moment at the podium.
“In that case, Pumpkin, I’ve been a dunce for waiting so long to ask you. What’s the answer?”
“You got to get merpission, so you can do what you want to do.”
“She means ‘permission,’ Dad,” said Jeff, in between the karate kicks he was laying into enemies seen only by him.
“I need permission?”
“Yeth,” Sandra exclaimed through the hole that was once home to front teeth. “Whenever I want to do something I want to do, I have to get merpission. Then I can do it. So you just need to get someone to give you merpission. Then you can stop worrying and just go play with the kids. Like you want to do.”
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO BECOME THE PERSON YOU WERE MEANT TO BE, AND TO STOP TRYING TO BE THE PERSON YOU THINK OTHERS EXPECT YOU TO BE.
“But Pumpkin, I’m a grown-up. Who’s gonna give me merpission?”
Sandra shrugged, cocked her head, and grinned. “I don’t know, Daddy! Who tells you what to do?”
“Well, lots of people tell me what to do. But mostly, I guess, I do the things that I tell myself I should do.”
Jeff pirouetted a roundhouse kick in his father’s direction, missing his head by about six inches. A quick one-two punch, then he said with authority, “Well, then, you just have to ask yourself for permission.”
“Ask myself for permission?”
“Sure! If you want to stop doing boring stuff and start doing fun stuff, who else do you need to ask?”
Deep in the back of him mind Paul thought he heard a metallic clang, like the noise of an iron bolt being thrown open on a prison door. Or maybe it was the sound of a spotlight switched on to sweep its rays across all the dark places where fear hides. Was it only yesterday that Rafe had stood on this very spot telling Paul’s children that this night they might become fatherless?
“Well?” Paul arranged his facial expression to convey the seriousness with which he was considering this proposition. “Don’t you think that maybe I should ask Mom for permission, too?”
“Oh, Daddy!” Sandra jumped into Paul’s lap, nearly knocking him over, and put her jack-o’-lantern smile inches from his. “You know Mommy will give you merpission to do anything you want to do.”