Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Dads

I grip my suitcase handle tightly and maneuver the stroller towards the sliding door. On the other side of the smoky glass stands the man I haven’t seen in three years. The man I insulted and hurt in the worst way by blogging about some of his less savory character traits. He’s my father and I need to catch my breath before I cross that threshold.

My father and I have a lot of history. I was his “favorite” for the longest time, and I worshiped him during all those years. Then, like every child who grows up, I started to see him in the light of reality and the man that was uncovered didn’t quite measure up to the daddy I idealized. It was a brutal awakening, and because he moved overseas in the midst of it, I never found a way to come to grips with my emotions and get past the hurdle of deception.

It’s been eight months since I blew everything with my callous Internet blatherings. Eight months since we’d stopped talking after a few terse email exchanges. I never intended for him to read what I wrote, never meant for him to be hurt by my revelations, but a part of me must have hoped that someone would point out the words to him or I would never have put them on such a public space. Maybe I secretly hoped that my blog posts would force him to sit up and take notice. Maybe I wanted to force a dialogue that had been too long in coming. Whatever I expected, it never happened. A flurry of phone calls and emails marked the event. My mother became one of my most loyal readers. My sisters checked in once or twice, and then nothing. And from my father? Complete radio silence.

A month ago it occurred to me that if I wanted to mend broken fences I was going to have to be more convincing in my apologies. I sent a tentative email, received another in reply, and soon a dialogue was established. Shortly after, an invitation was extended; did I want to bring my daughter north so she could meet her grandfather?

I took a few days to respond. I plumbed the depth of my conscience and my heart. Did I want to go see him? Was I ready for this step? As I searched my heart I realized that something was missing. I wasn’t anxious about this trip, instead I was excited to go show off my precocious toddler. For years all I felt was anger and resentment when I thought of my father, but it was all gone, leaving behind just a bit of curiosity. Since the man I had idealized doesn’t really exist, who is this man who is my father?

The answer lies behind that thick sliding door. I take a deep breath and walk resolutely forward. My father and his fiancĂ© are standing there waiting for us. Their faces light up as they see us coming towards them. I smile back and C waves. I’m ready to meet my father, to get to know the man he is really. It’s taken me 30 years to get to this point, but that’s fine. I’m just relieved that I’m not too late.

This was a guest post written by Rose at It’s My Life... in honor of this month’s blog exchange.

When I’m not busy working, cooking, or running after my toddler, C, I’m usually hiding in the bathroom thinking up my next blog post or trying to read a chapter or two of the book I’m currently wading through. When I do come up with something witty to write about, you can read it here (though I have to apologize, the baby within seems to have swallowed most of the wit these days…) where your usual blogger extraordinaire is blogging today.

Go on over and read her post and don’t forget to check out all the other blog exchange posts this month!

9 comments:

Jenn in Holland said...

What a great, honest read this is. I really love the tenative feelings and the idea of discovery within this piece.
Really well done.
Wow.

Jodi said...

Amazing post. And I hope you were able to cross that door.

laura said...

Wow! Thank you for sharing that very personal exchange! Beautiful post!

DangerDoll: said...

Well holy crap. I'm reading along, brain just a-poppin', going "WTF? I thought Des didn't have kids! When did she have a kid? What did I miss? Do I just not pay close enough attention? What???" Then I got to the bottom. Oooooh. {head slap}

That was a wonderful post...honest and open and searching and perfectly worded.

super des said...

ha ha DD... I tried to give you warning!

MsLittlePea said...

Very brave.

Suzanne said...

I hope that the reunion went well.

nutmeg said...

At some point I think we all struggle to see our parents as just human. I'm so glad for you both that you got past the hump of it.

Rose said...

Thank you Des for letting me crash here yesterday! And thank you to everyone's sweet comments. The reunion did go well, I'm happy to say!

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