It’s been almost a year since I’ve had any contact with my father.
It’s a long story, but the short version is that when my mother died my father didn’t handle it or his children well.
I suspect this stand-off has much more to do with my current writing funk than I’m willing to admit.
One of the lines I wrote to him was, We’re are all adults now, we all know why you rushed to get remarried.
I must have re-read that line fifty times. It wasn’t the most shocking thing I said, or the most difficult but it caught my attention and wouldn’t let go. Never in my life did I foresee a day I, as an adult woman, would feel the need take my father to task. In fact, I don’t remember ever thinking about being an adult much at all.
I imagine this he pictured something like this as he read.
I think that because when my sixteen year old son snaps at me, I see this…
None of this changes the fact that what I said, truly, desperately needed to be said. Nor does it mean I could have said it any differently. It’s hard when your parent disappoints you. It’s heartbreaking when you must explain it to them.
Like all uncomfortable lessons, it has ingrained in me the importance of listening, of paying attention, of the necessity that is communication.
I’ll learn from my dad’s mistakes so that someday I’ll have the pleasure of picking up a little boy who looks something like my own, and enjoy the company of my adult son. I’m not perfect, but I take seriously his trust. His teenage years are giving us ample opportunities to practice disagreeing, being mad, and resolving our problems almost like adults.
I wish I had it in me to be more appreciative of this particular phase of my education.