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i once saw where a guy was working to recollect one moment from each year of his life to see if anything could be discovered by the exercise. not having many original ideas myself i figured i would try it myself. and as per usual i figured what's the point of doing it if i don't share it to the world. so feel free to step into various points in my life, for what it's worth.
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1983
you can't ignore the boy for ten years and then expect him to be your best friend because you suddenly want to take him hunting. he won't kill a housefly, i don't really see him firing a gun at a deer.

standing at the bottom of our home's stairwell, this is what i overheard my mother telling my father. this is how my father and i communicated; through my mother. she wore her chagrin in a terribly obvious way but it never swayed the two men in her life. while she delivered my message, i could imagine my father gripping the backrest of a dining room chair, staring down at a cleared dinner table saying, as was his way in matters of emotion, absolutely nothing. in the end, i didn't go hunting and tensions between he and i didn't really go anywhere either.

i held my position in this relationship until my first child was born. up until this moment, every parental notion i held was pure conjecture, a malleable, mercury-like ball rolling around the endless hallways of my mind, growing with every related experience and observation. on the day i met, touched and held my first child, the long-term construction period was over. a large collection of workers broke down scaffolding, collected tools and drove the bulldozers off the lot where my accumulated thoughts on parenthood would now reside. this is obviously not to say that the project is complete, it's just that people are living there now and work happens differently.

in reaching this milestone, i considered how this moment played out for my father. i imagine front and center in his mind were the words PROTECT and PROVIDE, chiseled in unmovable, capital letters. i will say on his behalf, he admirably met those facets of parenthood. but, our disconnect came because he got dealt a child who wanted more than what those tall, stone words dictated and consequently to this day we sit across the table looking at one another but never totally understanding one another. and, i have no illusions that my tapestry of flowing cursive words will not miss the mark with one or more of my children, i just know i will confound and injure them in new and unforeseen ways.



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