Longtime readers know my relationship with my dad, over the last 20 years especially, has been a rollercoaster.
The worst of it was when we lived together 6-12 years ago and he was trying to be head of house, while not really contributing to the household, and over stepping some boundaries when it came to the kids. I won’t hash it all up. It’s history and I’m trying to let go of some things. But I’ll sum it up by saying, 3 generations living together is rough, especially when it’s the middle generation that’s “in charge” and it was made worse by the fact that dad and Pat don’t really get along. It was a rough situation and it lasted too long.
Once we got dad out of our house, things were still sort of rocky for awhile. Not bad, just not good. Mostly awkward, with unsure footing.
But then Rachel almost died. And I realized I couldn’t take the relationships that matter for granted.
Now I would like to stress here that had my father been abusive (I know my audience, potential and confirmed) I would have cut the ties and walked away. But my father has never been abusive. It was just a bad situation and then an awkward one.
So the relationship was worth fixing.
I still didn’t jump right on it. I spent time with him occasionally. Like when I was at my mom’s house. And a few one-on-one daddy/daughter dates. But things weren’t really in motion yet.
Then I started weekly therapy just right down the road from him, but 30-45 minutes from my house, getting out of therapy as rush hour traffic started. It seemed like the perfect situation to be like, “Hey. Let’s spend time together.”
So now every week I have therapy from 4-5 and then I go and have dinner with my dad. Sometimes it’s fancier sit down. Sometimes it’s fast food. Sometimes we run an errand or two while we are out. I’m not up at that end of town too often, and dad doesn’t drive. So sometimes there are things that just need to get done, so we run errands together. It’s nice. Really nice.
This past Monday night we saw Captain Marvel together. I’d already seen it with Pat and the kids, but dad hadn’t. He has no one else in his life to see movies with, right now. So I suggested we catch an early showing. I think we are going to work movies into the plans more often. Maybe not monthly, but when there is something he wants to see.
Movies are especially good since there is company, but no talking. Dad and I talk about surface level stuff, but things just stay shallow. At least right now. It’s not bad. The frequent silence is comfortable. It’s just not deep. So movies are a good way to spend a few hours together in companionable silence, and still have entertainment.
I should have him take me to the new Men in Black when it comes out sometimes in the next month or so.
Anyway, there is room for imporvment in my relationship with my dad, but we’re actively working on it. So I think we’ll be ok. We may never reach deep waters, but some relationships are like that.
I know my dad loves me. And I think he enjoys my company. So that’s good enough for me.
I just… I need to work on trusting him. But that’ll come in time.