Yeah, I’m a YES fan… Pretty hard to be my age and NOT at least be familiar with YES. And, yes, I’m “sorta” kyping the title of this blog entry from YES. Although the actual title of the song wasn’t quite right, so I had to dig a little deeper into the lyrics.
And now, I probably need to stop saying yes so much…
The truth is, my heart isn’t actually broken. To be perfectly honest, it isn’t even mortally wounded, nor is it shattered, cracked, dinged, chipped, or otherwise severely damaged. I will say, however, that my feelings are just a bit hurt. Not irreparably, but definitely a little dab. But, I have to admit, I saw it coming. In fact, I’ve seen it coming for better than a decade now. Screaming headlong in my direction, on its way to bowl me over without apology.
But, for any of it to make sense, as usual, I need to start at the beginning…
Christmas season last – that being 2009 – it was time to set about doing the limited shopping. I say limited because E K and I only trade small gifts – after all, I shower her with gems and such all year round. But all seriousness aside for a moment… Really and for true… We only buy small gifts for one another, and the rest of the budget goes to the O-spring and the nieces & nephews under the age of 18. It’s an overall family decision and it works well.
Now, in recent years, the O-spring has decided that perhaps she should purchase gifts for us as well. This is pretty neat in and of itself because it’s one of those hallmarks of growing up. Of course, we didn’t make her go out and get a job. She just saves up her allowance for a couple of weeks and then we supplement it a bit if necessary. Normal parenting stuff.
So… Christmas 2009 the O-spring kept joking around and telling me that she was going to buy me some BBQ’d ribs as a gift. Along came “national present opening day” and sure enough, there was a box under the tree with my name on it. When I dug into it I found that my daughter had definitely inherited my sense of humor, for while there were no actual BBQ’d ribs in the box, there were in fact two very important items which hinted at such:
A high-heat resistant silicone basting brush and a bottle of Carolina style BBQ sauce.
And, as I said, the munchkin’ inherited my sense of humor. She had executed this joke of her own accord, with only the absolute necessary help from E K – i.e. driving her to the store, etc…
So, we had a good laugh. Then, we decided that as soon as the weather was nice and I had some free time, we would do the Dad and Daughter BBQ thing. We would get ourselves a slab of ribs and have at it.
This past weekend just happened to be the one.
I was on schedule with my manuscript, the predicted weather was to be absolutely lovely, and the supermarket had ribs on sale. O-spring and I planned it and for the entire week I looked forward to it. After all, I’ve been trying to get the kid interested in cooking forever and she hasn’t really taken a shine to the idea. She finally seemed like this was something that just might hold promise where such was concerned. Plus, I would get to spend quality time with the kid, doing something fun…
The Q’ing day came round, and her friends starting calling. I didn’t think anything of it at first. After all, we had plans… Then, I found myself standing at the grill with a rack of ribs, a pair of tongs, a silicone brush, and a bottle of Carolina style sauce.
And, a beer. By the time all was said and done, several actually.
Because you see, there was no O-spring to join me in the Q’ing of the ribs. Her friends and social life took precedence over the plans of the day. Eventually, she came back. But, she was still hanging with her friends. E K convinced all of them to play Boccie Ball in the back yard where I was “manning the grill”, which at least put her in the general vicinity. However, as far as the ribs went, I was on my own – until time to eat them, of course.
I was just a little bit devastated, hence the multiple beers…
I’ll get over it. I’m a big boy, and I am well aware that this is just the beginning of a long string of dented feelings. Like I said, I’ve known it was coming since the day she was born. Hell, I was a kid once myself, so I know what it’s like, and I’m certain I hurt my parents feelings in similar ways as well.
But, she’s arrived at that age where her developing social life is all important, and E K and I, as her parents, are sort of like ATM’s that talk back but don’t say anything important – at least, as far as she’s concerned. That’s just how it goes and something I have to accept. Doesn’t mean I have to like it, of course, but there’s little I can do to change it.
Now, I just have to sit back and bide my time… After another decade passes by – or maybe just a little more - she’ll come back around and realize Dad is an okay guy to hang out with. And, when she does, I’ll find a sale on ribs, Carolina style BBQ sauce, and a bag of charcoal.
With a little luck, maybe I’ll still have that silicone brush she gave me for Christmas in 2009.
More to come…