Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Lucky 3

I love my father. A feeling that took me many years to understand and accept. Given my isolating and reclusive lifestyle for the majority of my life, years void of communication with him, this reality came with great struggle but so much release.
And I love my son so very much. A feeling so powerful it can frighten me at times. I cherish his life and the gift of life he has provided for me.

At the time that my son was born progress was being made in my relationship with my father, who I had not seen and barely spoke to in 5 years. Now, 2 years and nine months later, as I stop to write a small blog post on a package that my father sent to his grandson, I realize the healing, growth, and fun that has transpired between my father and I. Between the three of us.

My father was at the checkout in a garden supply store near Granville, Massachusetts when he spotted the same nifty little balsa wood flying plane kits he used to buy for me when I was a child. Instantly he though of his grandson, Elliott, and picked out three of the models. Due to his spontaneous purchase he next made a stop by a near by post office, purchase a Priority Mail box, pack the box with crumpled brown paper bags from his trunk and ship the three plane kits to California.
 I know that shipping gifts to loved ones and friends is not an unusual practice but I was very touched and humored by my fathers package. In a thoughtful moment in a checkout line my father had chosen to purchase three plane kits, drive out of his way to a post office, package and ship the planes. Ship them priority, no less, bringing the bill of an almost weightless package to twelve dollars and change; a bill that doubled the cost of the planes (which had inflated in price over the years).  He urgently rushed a fun afternoon project for his son and grandson, which he could have simply mentioned to me in a text or call reminding me of a fun activity to do with my own son.
The package arrived and I carried the feather-light box back to our house with Elliott walking by my side. I knew what was going to be in the box due to an email from my father and I was so very excited to see what my little boy would think of making flight.

All of the planes took flight. I was able to glide each one a couple of times for Elliott's amusement, but the real magic took place when they were in his hands. Roaring and racing. Soaring and diving. He was so excited that he was now able to fly about the yard; however, his love and energy for the play was so intense that the delicate balsa wood planes started to crack and splinter. Months later, to this day I will find coveted pieces of the planes placed on his bookshelf in his bedroom or stashed in a toy bin. He will not let me throw them away.

Growing older and maturing, changes in lifestyle, the need for connection, amendments & forgiveness, or having a child. Someone's grandchild. I do not attribute any one change or circumstance to the current relationship my father and I now have. Sadly, long overdue, and still so fragile in it's struggling infant stage, there is life and connection between us. My father and I. My son, my father, and myself. I am very proud of my son and my father. Each of us alone has their battles and challenges. For each of us the future holds it's mysteries and uncertainties. In the history of my life one of the most certain things is uncertainty. But for now the three of us have this relationship and these experiences together. Come what may there was an afternoon where the three of us took flight together and played.
A few months later in the summer of 2013 my father
& Elliott shared a homemade "Oreo" on a sidewalk
in Great Barrington, Mass.

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