It’s the seventh annual Blogging for LGBT Families Day, hosted by Dana at Mombian. This year, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate topic than my dad, who is recoverying from triple bypass surgery.
My dad and I had a difficult relationship when I was a teenager, but that’s not unusual. After overhearing complaints about my parents, a high school teacher told me time and distance heals many wounds. It took a few years, a few months after the last time I moved out of my parents’ house in fact, for me to truly appreciate that I could have a positive relationship with my dad. But it happened. I can’t imagine a world without my dad and I don’t want to.
One night towards the end of my pregnancy, we stopped by my parents’ house to see visiting relatives. My dad and his brother had enough to drink that they were prank calling all ten of their siblings. But at one point during the evening dad got misty eyed and told me about the special relationship he wanted to have with his grandkids. My dad’s relationship with The Boy has been wonderful. For the first two years of The Boy’s life they saw him no less than once a week. Often three to four times. We would drop by, intending to stay just a few minutes and end up leaving The Boy for a few hours while we ran errands. He spent the night once a month (after he was sleeping through the night regularly).
The Boy fell asleep on my dad countless times. When he was crawling, dad would follow him, playing tip the baby. They were two bald heads following each other around on the floor and giggling hysterically. No one can make The Boy laugh like my dad can. Before my parents moved back to Minnesota last year, just after The Boy’s second birthday, they lived in a rental house without a dishwasher. The Boy frequently helped my dad “wash” dishes. We had to bring an extra set of clothes every time we visited. Not because he got dirty but because he was drenched every time they got anywhere near the sink.
The last year has been a little difficult. My parents are eight hours away and instead of seeing them two or three times a week, we see them two or three times a year. We settle for weekly skype calls and pictures. It isn’t the same. I miss my watching my dad with The Boy, his little buddy. I miss his teasing. I miss the ugly Hawiaan shirts that he calls party shirts. I miss his bad jokes.
I get why our relationship was so hard, it’s because we’re so much alike and that doesn’t bother me at all.