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Piece By Piece, A Girl's Ode To Daddy

May 10, 2016


By now I'm sure you've heard of Kelly Clarkson's song "Piece By Piece." If you haven't check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSb0NtY6c3I When I first heard the song I wasn't sure who sung it. I thought maybe Adele, but something in me was like eh I don't think so but what initially got my attention to even want to know about the artist behind the song was the message. I became aware of the song during its hook and it resonated with me. Like many girls, I don't have the best relationship with my father. I know who he is and he's been in my life sporadically, just he was never the Uncle Phil to my Will. He was never there for me and as a child having a strong-willed, independent, take charge mother I believed that I didn't need a father but whenever I saw shows with a complete family, the father being a staple member of the family I couldn't help but wish I was part of the family. To some extent I was . . . as a loyal viewer.


As I did some digging I found out Kelly Clarkson sings "Piece By Piece," listening to the album edit, the song is great, but the version I heard on the radio causing me to fall for it was from a concert. Her raw emotions in her tone drew me in but what held me in place was the feeling of being strong when it hurts. Holding back tears to push throw is something I'm all too familiar with. Pretending that not having a stable father in your life doesn't affect you. Thinking that it's normal for it to be just you and your mother and to not bring up the fact you wish your father was around. To watch other little girls fall in love with their father and how their father a big, tall, and manly man turns into the most gentle giant at the bat of his daughter's eyes. To wish that you had that. A father who cared. A father who is there. When you reach the age of puppy love/crushing, an adult is supposed to initiated you into "the talk." Your mother does all the talking but not from a man's perspective. No father to say with conviction how he'd break the brakes off of someone if he harms his little girl. To never have been his little girl but a situation he regrets. To outsource validation of your womanhood to others who measured short that left you insecure. To desire a family that you've never had and to build a relationship after something you've never seen. To keep hope that your relationship with your father will improve but the broken promises overflow like Katrina's levees. 


Those are a few thoughts that girls without a father have and Kelly's song of going through it and finding a man who loves her spoke volumes. He loves all of her, he provides and protects like a father should but loves her like a husband does. He exemplifies the role model she never had, he also takes the lead in being that father figure their daughter River. Kelly acknowledges her daughter's feelings first by saying, "I would never leave her like you left me. She will never have to wonder her worth. Because unlike you, I'm gonna put her first." Though Kelly is the mother she understands the importance of being consistently there for her child even as a baby.


"Piece By Piece" took me back to a Jada Pinkett Smith interview were an interviewer asked Jada about Tupac Shakur. She broke down speaking about him because of the important role he played in her life not just as a friend or a male friend but he was the father figure that she didn't have. Jada said, "He was one of my best friends. He was like a brother. It was beyond friendship for us, you know, as far as . . . It's really difficult to explain, because . . . the type of relationship we had you only get that once in a lifetime so . . . he was like a brother father figure to me." Tupac loved her sincerely without wanting from her. He installed a special kind of love only a father or a father figure can give. Tupac protected her. Tupac validated her womanhood like a father does. Still to this day Jada has the most utmost respect for Tupac after close to twenty years of his passing in 1996. I know we often hear jokes about girls having daddy issues and we clown them and say they're destined to be on a pole or the hoe stroll but you can never understand walking around half of a person because your other half doesn't want you or doesn't put effort into making you whole, so you search for that completion in all the wrong places. The places that are familiar and yet unfamiliar, like your father. If you don't have compassion, if anything, have an understanding.


Be Entertained. Be Enlightened. Be Loved. ✌

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