Midvale School for the Gifted Alumni Association

Sunday, September 18, 2011

There I Go, Turn the Page

Thinking about fathers this weekend.

My father was ever-present when I was a kid.  He came to all the dance recitals, school concerts, and graduations. He played silly games with us on the floor of the living room, tried to teach his girls to fish, and came home from hunting trips smelly and scruffy and happy to tell us about his adventure.  I remember going to his friend's house to have a "welcome home" party of sorts, donuts and coffee for the adults, and generally a deer hanging in the background somewhere.  Strange, I know, but those were exciting mornings; Dad was home.  We would go on vacations to the beach, and he would sit out, shirtless in cut-off jeans, grilling dinner, casting for blues in the evening. 

At night, when he would be home with us while Mom worked evenings; he'd listen to records while completing paperwork at the dining room table, or tending to his hunting and fishing gear.  Dad loved the FM radio; Led Zeppelin, the Who, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Seger, so many others.  I fell asleep to Rumors or Live Bullet more times than I can remember.   

As my sisters and I got older, he attended fewer and fewer events.  Then, as we entered our 30s, he and my mother split.  For a long time, I was really angry with him, as I said to my mother once, "he ruined everything".  I've come down from that anger, but not that disappointment; as an adult, though, I know what kind of work it takes to make a marriage work, and I can see where they both disappointed each other.  Adult child syndrome, I guess.  And our relationship since then has been more distant.  Although, the really important things, he's there.  When we call him nervously for something, he's always there.  This past spring, when the tornadoes ran through the town where he lives, I talked to him many times that day.  I miss my dad, and he doesn't call often, but then, I don't either.  I realize this, and I know I need to be better in that regard.

I'm resolving to call my father more, even if it's for silly things, or just to say hi.  He's never been outgoing in that regard, so I can take that initiative to be in better contact.  As disappointed I may have been with him in the last decade, he's still my dad.

Turn The Page - Bob Seger

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