Friday, September 09, 2005

And my head didn't explode one bit

For the past two months, when I have told people that my dad was coming to stay with us for a week, I was unable to weed out of my voice the tone that said "You have no idea how ridiculous this is. "My dad is coming?...To stay with us?...For a week?" "My dad? Just had surgery? To become a woman?" I have been married twice, and my father did not attend either wedding. On my birthday, I may or may not receive a card or gift. He did not see my son until my child was 4-years-old. He does not know how to pronounce my last name. He's not that kind of dad. He's the kind of dad who refers to his newest granddaughter as "(his) daughter's adopted baby from China." He's the kind of dad who neglected to include a Christmas gift to his daughter's adopted baby from China last year when he sent the rest of us gifts. Because my daughter deserves a grandfather who at the very least calls her his granddaughter, I invited himt o come experience our family bliss and do a little bonding with Buttercup. I assumed, of course, that we would be hosting him in our newly repaired home - from which we have been displacwed since April for Hurricane repairs. I certainly never would have extended an invitation for him to stay with us in my mother's house. My mother's house, which used to be my parents' house. The house that they bought together, the house where their fighting so often woke my brother and me, the house from which my mother dragged my brother and me one night at 2 a.m. to flee to her mother's, the house where our parents sat us down in the living room to tell us the (not very) shocking and sad news that they were getting divorced, the house where something told me that spontaneously bursting into cheerful song was the wrong reaction to the divorce news, the house where my mom got lonely(er) and depressed and drank too much and neglected things, the house where all the carpets are stained and the cigarette smell still lingers a year and a half and hundreds of wall washings after her death, the house where we're still stuck because Smoky McGruff and his Crack Team of home improvers have consistently had to perform every job no fewer than three times in order to get the "improvement" part right. Actually, he already came and went, and I spent the week going lalalalalalalala, What visit? What dad? What carpet stains? What painful and embarassing family history? Who wants cake? What undoubtably will happen is that, over the next few (months, years, decades) days, as I recall the erstwhile glossed-over points of the visit, I will reel in horror, sigh in relief or explode in unpredictable rage. It should be fun. Meanwhile, we are scheduled to return to our house tomorrow. For real this time. Honest.


Anonymous Marie said...

Bravo to you for having survived it as best you could. And maybe, just maybe, the contact with Buttercup helped him in ways that he (and you) can't even fathom. And bravo to you for having the courage to go through with it all.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Moreena said...

I hope the move back home goes well. It's hard to be in flux, and for sooooooo long.

8:09 PM  

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