September 5, 2006

Father of Mine

A daughter's relationship with her father has got to be one of the most complex--outside of her mother perhaps--she will experience. That is, if she knows her father. I am lucky enough to know mine.

Oh wait. That's just stupid. Why would any daughter consider herself lucky to know her father? I mean, isn't it a father's job to allow their children to know them? I guess it's like any other job. Some dads are good at it, others suck, and there are many levels of competence and/or incompetence in between.

Parenthood is like that. It's all fly by the seat of the pants, hard work and hope. Daughterhood, once one reaches adulthood, is pretty much the same.

My parents divorced when I was in fourth grade. I don't recall feeling particularly tramautized by the event. I left that to my sister. My father, an officer in the Navy, promptly was restationed from Washington, DC to Hawaii. I've tried to imagine what my life would have been had we, as originally intended, moved with him as a family unit before the Big D got in the way. I never get far. What's the point anyway? It was what it was and is what it is. Pragmatism rocks.

My dad and I seem to understand each other. Enough to respect the differences and enjoy the sameness. I'm thinking about him today because I owe him an email and can't seem to stay on task. I'm not so good at the regular communication thing. It doesn't help that we live on opposite coasts. I sit wrapped in my own little cloud, taking comfort in the familial breezes swirling in the distance yet not deigning to disrupt my personal reveries.

I think I may regret that some day.
Hell, for that matter, I think I do already.
I need a swift kick in the ass.



Middle Girl said...

"...hard work and hope." So true, oh so true.

Gina said...

fIt is all too easy to take family members for granted.

Guilty as charged, and just direct the ass-kicking over here.

KMae said...

I think you are fine. There's a reason you are where you are. I moved across country to live away from my parents (mother in particular) just so I could breathe. But why don't you call him. Have a little chat. It's okay to plan a visit when you are ready.

KMae said...

Hey, it's okay. You are where you are for a reason. I had to move cross country away from my parents just to breathe! (in my case it was my mother.) What if you just call him & tell him you are feeling guilty because you love him or something that fits. You can plan a trip there when you are ready. OR you could invite him to visit for Thanksgiving or something if you're up to it.

Val said...

Suzanne... just do it! it'll make you feel better.
And Weese... really! She just fell down the stairs, MUST you now take her literally and kick her when she's already down?!
Girls - play nice! ;)

Val said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
WenWhit said...

There is no way I'm kicking your ass after what Scout said about the stair incident. NFW. I will offer a gentle prod if needed, darlin.

I like your dad. :)

tiff said...

just do it. i procrastinate like crazy too, and always wonder why once I'm done with whatever it was that I was putting off.

Oh, say, care to come out to Dulles Sunday afternoon to keep me company on a 2-hour layover? :>

I kid, of course.

cbar said...

I have to agree with everyone else, I tend to find that we always regret the things we didn't do, rather than the ones we did. Time and Life are too short... JUST DO IT!!

I apparently work for Nike in this comment. lol

Career Guy said...

This will get you going: having had my mother die suddenly back in 1998, I always check in on the phone with my dad just in case. I wouldn't want to have a month go by and then all of a sudden be cut off forever with no chance at redemption.

Teresa said...

Beautiful post, S. I too loved that "hard work and hope" phrase.

As I was reading it I thought, Oh, isn't it nice that S. talks to her dad independently of her mother, then I thought, Well, duh, her parents are divorced. She can't communicate with her father through her mother! I can count on one hand the number of times my dad has called me, and we get along OK. But if I called my mom—the resident phone-picker-upper—and asked to talk to my dad, she would think we were up to something. Not that that's a bad thing…

Anonymous said...

Dad's, if you have one you complain, I lost mine to the really, I mean really big "D", when I was about 5, now 12 years later, I still remember the smell of him as he kissed me good bye each morning. So why don't you call your dad an tell him you love him and are glad that you only lost him to the little "D" not the big "D".