My last post was about my dad's then-upcoming visit.
You know, if it had not been so long since I had last seen him, I would not have been so nervous.
He's an easy-going guy, quick to realize his effect on the moods of others, and generally full of love for the universe. I didn't have much to worry about.
I was so preoccupied thinking of my childhood, when we were both very different people, that it was making me anxious.I was caught up in only remembering my perception of him--dad thru the lens of a son growing up before him.
It seemed strange that, in the weeks before his arrival, I was feeling like how I did as a child, helpless before this giant who could squash me like a bug, who isn't as impressed with my antics as my friends, and whose experience in the world exceeds mine by a long shot. This giant also chose to stick with me, a baby, toddler, adolescent, and teenager, and all the shit I dole out during those life stages.
We loved one another, but it wasn't a way that I understood until I had my own kids and started doing almost exactly what he was doing when he was my age. I realized who he is, who my mom is, where I fit into all that, and who I am as a mixture of the two.
Things were tense in my house for a long time, mostly during high school. Some of it was my fault, some of it was my parents'. Trying to keep score now, to know where to assign blame, is frivolous.
We get along better now that we don't live together. Let's just leave it at that. And they're both great people. And I love them very much. And I owe them my life.
They're leaving my brother and I the house and their assets in their will, did I ever mention that? They'll be providing for me even after they leave this world. Now that's something I'd like to be able to give my kids.
When dad actually visited, it was awesome. He was cool just hanging out, meeting BB, going with the flow. Him, Lucy and I went to the aquarium one day. Another day, we took him to Top Pot, and then to my campus at UW. He got to bond with his granddaughters and leave a lasting impression.
The last night he was in Seattle, he hung out late here at the house. Him, Megan and I sat at the kitchen table and drank Jack Daniel's for a little over an hour. He talked a lot and we listened a lot. It was all truly interesting to hear, and dad told me a lot of stuff that kinda opened my eyes.
For one thing, he was a Detroit and Jersey punk who specifically chose western Michigan to settle down with his family. It gave me a lot of insight into his character.
His process for applying for jobs in that area, while we all lived in San Jose during my first years, was interesting--he sent out letters, by mail, mind you, to various companies. He was going to be in town at such-and-such a time, and if they wanted to set up an interview, they could. He had job offers he could live with in the Muskegon area, and in Manistee. Can't remember why, but he took the Manistee job--there was something about it he liked better.
It was there I grew up, from a five-year-old to my entrance into legal adulthood.
Dad went up to Bellingham after a few days. My family's got a little contingency there--my uncle Guy, aunt Laurie, and their three kids Jared, Savannah, and Tessa, and my brother, live there. Megan and I dragged our kids up there and spent a night in the same hotel as dad. It was fun.
It was a busy time--in addition to my dad's visit, Tessa was graduating high school, and Laurie's parents, cousin, and cousin's wife were all visiting. Hence the hotel visit--Guy was going a little bonkers dealing with everything and constantly cleaning house and trying to retain some composure.
After a few days had gone by, I noticed that I had a renewed enthusiasm for, well, life. To be a good father, and put forth that extra effort for my kids, was no longer a trifle for me. Dad gave me some kind of inspiration I didn't expect.
Reconnecting with my family is awesome. You learn so much about yourself.
Also, did I mention that my family is just generally awesome? We don't have squabbles; we don't fight. We're good to one another. I'm a lucky dude.