Lately, I have been suspicious that dad is purposefully acting “old” to punish me for marrying an older man.
I remember a while back, I asked dad how old he saw me as and he didn’t even hesitate, “Nine.” I realize too that I have always seen him as this fit young man probably in his early mid 40′s who taught his daughters to play tennis, ran races and was an Army Reservist every other weekend. He’s always been so active and strong, it never occurred to me that he was getting older.
Since we returned to Columbia, and I am officially in “hang out” mode, I have plenty of time to examine my father’s behavior:
The other day after playing tennis:
- Dad: Where are the new balls we played with?
- Me: I don’t know.
- Dad: Oh! Here they are! in my pocket!
- Me: laughing
- Dad: That’s not funny
When Dad drives in town, he rarely goes over 50 miles per hour.
He wants to eat dinner around 5pm, and it’s usually the other half of lunch from that day.
This morning, I walked into the kitchen and he was drinking coffee in his underwear and athletic socks.
He says things like, “I think it’s time for my afternoon nap.” and “My chest hurts.”
Who does he think he’s kidding?
I don’t like to think of dad getting older, because that means I’m getting older. God, if I wasn’t such a traditionalist I would probably have Chase start calling me Kathryn in public. Being with my dad has me wondering how you differentiate eccentric behaviour from “don’t-give-a-damn” behaviour. I don’t know if I am one of those cliché’ psychiatrist’s kids, but sometimes I wonder if what I do is “normal”. For instance, I like to walk around with either my boobs hanging out or a shoulder and when it’s just us family, sometimes I’ll forego pants. Is that so wrong? Just family. Ok, maybe around a cute UPS delivery guy too. Alright, maybe around a good-looking police officer answering an accidental home alarm. But usually, just family. Some of you already know how paranoid I am about aging, and how I think it just comes sagging down overnight. That’s what happened with my dad. One minute he’s the strongest man in the world, then all of a sudden, he’s saying things like, ”give me a minute, I’m dizzy picking up balls.”
Until next time…
Dad gave the greenlight to paint. We were able to pick colors and did some more organizing. This was a small step for me, but a huge step for him and I am so proud that he was able to make it.