Thursday, August 6, 2009

a million things on my plate (and not a big enough stomach)

It feels like I've got about a million things going on right now (I may have rounded up there) and so rather than address any of them, I have opted to, instead, sew. And not from any particular pattern - I'm just sewing. Like the wind. Not in a Three Amigos sort of way, but in the erratic, shifting, borderline destructive, kind of way. Let's call it extreme sewing.

Look at what I did just there - instead of sewing, I talked about sewing. And what did I intend to talk about when I sat down? My dad. Focus, Sarah. For just 5 minutes.

Yesterday was my dad's birthday. Laura, Allison and my mom hit upon the finer points that I would have discussed (ehm, not so much the romantic/Mr. Darcy stuff, though - I don't think I quite have those kind of daddy issues), so reiterating them would be redundant. Instead, over the past couple days I've read through the dozens of letters my dad sent me during my first two years of college (and then faxes during my London semester). I stumbled upon letters from my parents from a youth activity. And I came across my copy of "The Princess Bride," bestowed upon me by my dad on my wedding day. At first I thought I would type up some of my dad's advice or stories, but some of the best stuff he said is pretty personal and on more than a few occasions I had to wipe my eyes to see the print.

One letter was written after we had a disagreement and he relayed some of our conversation. I'm sure back then I read it with an eyeroll. But last night as I re-read it, and the following sentence that declared he only wanted what was best for me and I would never understand just how much he loved me, I sobbed. And I whispered, "I'm so sorry. You were right."

I think I'm only beginning to really understand that love, as a parent. And the frustration that comes with watching your kid be lame. I like to think I was an awesome teenager, but I was had my moments of lame. I'm fortunate to have a patient and loving dad who put up with it and then wrote me nice letters that now have the second purpose in helping me as a parent.

I didn't choose who my dad was, but he chose what kind of dad he would be, and I count myself inexplicably fortunate that he's mine. One of the major things on my plate right now is to get ready for our big Florida trip for which we depart Saturday. As is so much in my life, it is largely the doing of my dad (and mom!) and I eagerly look forward to talking with him, hearing him laugh, and just being near him.

Time to go fold some laundry and start packing bags. Oh wait, first I need to finish Gemma's dress...