Monday, December 18, 2006

Having a dad

December 17, 2006


Songs and music touch me in this really friggin’ vulnerable soft spot in fact spinning class has moved me to tears…especially lately because the teacher I have has exquisite taste in music…but it’s kind screwed up that songs like The rocky Theme can make me weep…which I pretend is sweat.

Anyway here I am at Starbuck’s and Cyndi Lauper’s new version of time after Time is making me choke up. This time, now as an adult instead of as a third grader this time the relationship I think of is not the little boyfriend I had back then who I dumped because I was convinced he would get to the deed before me, no, this time I think of my father of my daughter of the parental relationship and what it means to me how well I hurt so much it hurts the love I feel for Chelsea because it is ultimately going to end in my death when she is old (G-d-willing) and then also there’s the factor that they grow up and leave and it is not like I don’t want that for her (and me) it is not about that it is about the short and sweetness of childhood and the short and bittersweetness of daily parenting of the crash and burnness of having young children of the draining of energy that seems in many ways vast and endless.

What the hell does that have to do with my father and our relationship? Oh, yeah, what it means to me. Having a dad means to me, today, my history and past and also the possibility of a better and more peaceful …nope. I just got it. That’s the problem. I have a child now and watching her with her dad, my husband, watching them…I relive my childhood in certain moments and then I think about today and how it, our relationship, is so different. Not close. But I realize that the relationship cannot be what it was as a child. So, the thing is that it, the relationship, is what it is and it is not close and maybe that’s actually okay. Maybe it is even good.

The comment that was left in the previous blog entry beeps in my mind as I write this….

“Here's the thing: YOU believe parents should always be there for their children, unconditionally, forever, no matter what -- that is what good parents do. Your father sees the role of parents differently. The trick is, you happen to be related, with all the expectations and baggage every family has. So what do you do?”

Exactly, what do I do?

That’s it. What do I do? Do I do what my sister did and cut it all off? Do I do what my friend “A” does and respect the reality of the relationship and its limitations? Then of course there’s me, what do I want to do? I don’t know. That’s the truth. I don’t know really what feels right except I know I don’t want to cut him out of my life. But, I do know that I feel guilty about that….guilty for not being loyal to my sister who has been loyal to me and guilty to even entertaining the idea of cutting him off.

He is who he is. I am who I am. The past happened and lots of it sucked. The present is happening and it sucks sometimes too.

My mother and I had dinner on Friday night, for the first time in months and we sat and talked for three hours about EVERYTHING. I said some thing to her that I have never said…but this thing is the UNSPOKEN thing that is like a ghost hovering between us…”Mom, you don’t love [my sister] more than me because I still talk to Dad?” She was flabbergasted and then said, “I know how and why you could think that but you know me and you know I love you no matter what!” It’s true, I do. But I know that it has to be hard for her and that she must wonder…we talked a lot about her father and how if he had lived, and the affair he had became public, what would she have done and she said,”Oh I would have never spoken to him again.” and then she said, “No I know that I would have probably done what you do…have very very limited contact.”

The thing I struggle with is that I want an answer to the Father Problem. I want a solution. I want a rational and neat and tidy conclusion, an end, a summing up. I want it to MAKE SENSE.

It is what it is. I am who I am. We are all just ourselves and the goal is not solution, not even understanding but rather acceptance.

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