Sunday, August 22, 2010
Two weeks ago my mom told me that my dad was going to be in town and wanted to have breakfast with us, and meet Dan and Jack. I haven't seen my dad in the better part of ten years, and the last time I saw him it was over a really uncomfortable dinner at Charcoal Grill. Prior to that, I hadn't seen him in years. We never had a real relationship other than a few weekends with him as I was growing up. When I was in third grade, he bought me a Transformer for Christmas. Megatron. That may be my most significant memory of him. I don't dislike him, but he's a stranger. I don't know him.
To get ready for the occasion, we dressed Jack in a little cowboy outfit, complete with denim dungarees and little black cowboy boots, but the boots only stayed on as far as the kitchen. He's still anti-shoe, even when the shoe in question is an adorable pair of boots. When we pulled up to Cracker Barrel this morning and my dad and my mom were already there waiting. I was genuinely surprised. He looked like an older, thinner version of what I remembered. I introduced him to my husband and my son, and he gave me an awkward hug. Our breakfast was brief. We talked about Jack, and he told me about my half-brother and half-sister and their respective children. He said a few things that made me give him the side-eye, but for the most part it wasn't unpleasant. I was glad to be in the car heading back home afterwards. I was also very, very tired when it was all done.
Interestingly, after a little initial shyness, Jack really took to my dad. He wanted to look at him and touch his face. Jack is generally a friendly baby, but this was a little different. This guy was a stranger to Jack, but it was like he knew something, like he sensed a familiarity. Jack never ceases to amaze me. What did you know, little man?
In all, I don't know how to feel about today. I don't really feel anything in particular, one way or another. I guess it was nice to see my dad, but I don't really have much of an opinion in it. It just was.
But I did get something nice out of it - a family picture that I never thought I'd see happen.