was during my childhood as my dad dealt out some pretty nasty physical, then later verbal blows. I didn’t bring it up; it actually came up by her as part
of a conversation about my brother, and, basically, how he’d asked her
recently where she’d been during that time. I guess he and I are doing similar work.
really, it’s water under the bridge. That she’s owned up to her shortcomings as a
mother before, and more importantly, she’s changed and is continuing to change from that avoidant woman.
But, since it was there, she answered anyway. And basically her answer was that
she didn’t know it was happening. She was either away working, or, she admitted, she was in
denial and didn’t want to see it.
change the past, it doesn’t change that I do still feel more forgiving of her
than him, because she has the capacity to see what pain she caused by
commission or omission, and to make changes in herself to course-correct the
blindspots that made her unavailable to my brother and me.
wanting to go for several years since I’ve lived in the Bay Area, but as there
weren’t any in SF (which I find abominable), and once in the East Bay my car
was stolen, I haven’t been able to go. And so, finally, yesterday, I did.
(admittedly soft) pitches, and some of my shots were actually quite good. My
body remembered how to do this. I remembered how to do this. I used to go to
the batting cages all the time – with my dad.
that matter) hadn’t given my brother and me some genuine goodness, we’d both be sociopaths. If all was neglect, abuse,
and secrecy, we’d be something other than we are: generally well adjusted and generously kind people.
says dads do: take us sledding in the winter, teach us how to bat, take us
hiking and camping and sailing. He was able to be there in the ways
that didn’t require him to step out of his comfort zone. (Unfortunately, my
brother has tales from “throwing around the ball” with our dad that don’t have
such fond memories; apparently demanding perfection from a 9 year old doesn’t
instill confidence or trust.) But, my dad did teach us these things.
I want it to be, I know that there is this part. A part of me that wouldn’t be
if it weren’t for him and shaped by his… –I can’t believe I’ll use this word–nurturing, I wouldn’t have the urge to go to the batting
cages, or the part of me that enjoys and indeed demands that I get out into
nature and stoke a fire.
though he was in part. He isn’t a swell dad, though he was in part. He isn’t
entirely absent, though he was in part.
“got” from her parents, the good things she got. She has her own multifaceted
parents too, but it was nice to hear, for maybe the first time, the positive
qualities of them, and what they’d passed on to her.
relationship, if any, I choose to have with my dad, he still did raise me, for
better or worse.
with a smile that lasted for hours, today my arm muscles are sore, and next
week, I know I’ll be back.