When I was little, I adored my father. Looking back, confusion reigns as to exactly why I felt the sun rose and set on him. Part of it was expectation I’m sure. Mom would make a big deal with the whole ‘daddy’s home!’ thingy getting me worked up to the shrieks of ‘hurray’ level. She had no luck consoling me, the night he did not come home, though.
We had a date, my dad and me, to go for dinner. Spending one-on-one time with him was rare. I was over the moon. Hours before he was due home, I was ready to go, dressed in my Sunday clothes. As the light faded and the sun set, believing that any second the gull-winged coral and white coloured Chrysler would round the corner and roll into the driveway, I stayed glued to the dining chair by the picture window, until my mother carried me to bed.
There were plenty of those nights. That’s the one I remember most. It might well have been the first. My father was dedicated to his working life and adult distractions he made no excuses for. But that’s okay. That’s not what I’m thinking of. The disappointment resulting from those broken promises is not important today. What is, is realizing fully, who was there. Always.
If I could have understood then what I know now, I’d have been happy to have had one parent in the room. I’d have been over the moon at having dinner with my mom and learning to cook with her, or knit with her, or talk with her. Do you know, I can recall only one adult conversation I ever had with my mother?
There’s nothing like consistency. I’d forgotten that she was the centrepiece of family life. Wasn’t I blessed to have had one parent willing to wait with me and tuck me in?
Over and out.
P.S. My wish is found in the story. I didn’t want to insult your intelligence with redundancy. xx