I had a wave of panic
I had a wave of panic a few years ago. I was in a yoga workshop and the question was asked, “Where in your life is there potential disaster?” The first thing that came to mind was not spending time getting to know my Dad.
I mean, I know him. For my biggest life decisions… like divorce, surgery, direction, babies… my go-to guy has been Dad. In no way is this dissing Mom, it’s just that she’s probably been part of the whole talking-it-to-death process along the way.
I go to him when I’m serious. Surprisingly, he’s never phased. (Hhhmmm. Maybe mom has prepped him…?) He’s always supportive. In the most sincere way. This is not someone who would tell me what I want to hear. He gently presents all sides of the situation, and ends with something along the lines of, “I believe in you. You’ve got this.”
The thing is, he was busy when I was young. Working to keep us all situated (and fed). He worked nights and tried to sleep during the day. During the sliver of time we would see him, at dinner, before he left for work, I usually had something to ask him, can I go here, do this, buy that. I only brought my most serious needs to him. If Mom had told me to ask him, I would weigh how badly I wanted what I wanted. Lots of times I'd just let it go. I was the oldest, so I got the brunt of the no's. Even though he was doing all he could to be a good dad, there wasn't a lot of softness around our conversations.
When I moved out and into my independence, I didn't live in the same town. Phone calls home were mainly with Mom. Visits home were lunch and shopping with Mom too.
So when I found myself living in the same town with him in my 40's, to prevent any potential disaster, I got the courage to ask him if he’d like to go out on dates with me. He seemed happy about this. He calls me with plans. Plans that include chick flicks and Starbucks… stuff I might like. He picks me up at my door. He pays. He is thoughtful. A gentleman. Tension replaced with softness.
Where in your life is there potential disaster?