People

The ways in which I am like my father


Some people are afraid of becoming their parents. There have been times when this was true for me, like the first time I caught myself rationalizing like my mother or avoiding conflict like my father. But to quote one of my favorite books, The Sandman, “We do what we do, because of who we are. If we did otherwise, we would not be ourselves.”

I am like my father because we both try to avoid conflict at all cost. I used to think this was selfish of him and I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t rather talk about his feelings than have an outburst or go off by himself. Now that I find myself guilty of the same crime I realize that while it is a little selfish, it’s coming from a place of desire to love. My father worked a lot and my mother did too, so we didn’t have much time together. My work days are long now and I only see loved ones for a few hours every evening much like my parents used to see each other. The last thing I want to do with that precious time is argue or disagree. Those moments are like treasures that I want to polish every night, not bruise.

I am like my father because we can both quickly lose our patience with people we love. As a child, I remember my father immediately shooing me off after failing at some task. I thought he didn’t like me very much because I wasn’t as capable. Now that I do the same thing, I see how hard it is to watch someone you care about struggle and fail. My father and I must be the most cynical idealist to ever walk this earth. We want everything to be nice and flowy and happy.

I am like my father because sometimes we just need to be alone. I don’t know if you’ve read Harry Potter but there’s a werewolf in one of the books and he has to hoard himself up in this room underground so he doesn’t hurt anyone when he changes. But of course he doesn’t tell anyone he’s a werewolf so Harry Potter and Co. follow him and nearly die. My dad and I think we’re werewolves and as egotistical as that might sound, we can be mean and hurtful. I always thought it was childish of him to walk away from arguments. He would go hide in the garage. Now that this happens to me, I think he just knew himself well enough to go to a room when he was changing so as to not hurt us.

This makes it seem like we’re monsters and we probably look like that sometimes but all of these things seem so small when I think of all the ways I hope I’m like my father.

I hope I can be as dedicated to anything as he is to his family. I have never felt safer in my entire life than when I’m with my father.

I hope I can be as talented with my hands. My dad can fix anything, he can paint, play the guitar, work on cars, cook, mend a little bird’s broken wing, and in a pinch figure out how to make a ponytail.

I hope I can be as strong. My father has always had muscles, but he’s also always had the incredible ability to move on from anything. When anyone tells me that after a certain age people don’t change, I know they’re wrong because my father has grown every year since I’ve known him and it’s always for the better.

I hope I can be as accomplished. As a teenager my father moved to the states from Mexico. He found a job, saved money, bought a house, and helped other people who were trying to do the same by letting them live with him. Then he met my mother and kicked them all out. Since then he’s worked hard to give us the world. Money can’t buy you happiness if you don’t have love and he gave us both. It’s incredible to me that a man with nothing but the shirt on his back, a lack of education, and a language barrier could come to own a few houses, a few cars, send a kid to college, and still have some money and energy left over to encourage his wife to retire early.

In some ways I have turned into my parents and I guess I’m pretty okay with that.

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Having your parents over when you’re in your twenties


I was running at the park when it happened. Wanting to change up the scenery, I headed to the park for a long run as punishment for the cookie and red, velvet cake I had this week. I ended up going around the whole park because I can’t read signs and am easily distracted by birds. So much so that I just end up following them and thus spent two hours walking/running/crawling in tunnels around the park.

Anyway, my mother called. I hit ignore immediately. Can’t have her messing up my jams. I need music to stay in the zone sometimes when I workout because I’m not a freak that loves to run for hours. But she called again. As a general rule, if someone calls me three times in a row, I answer. Regardless of what I am doing. It’s clearly a life or death situation in my book.

“Hey…[long pause.]”

yea…

“We’re leaving in a bit.”

okay?…

“To Victoria. To pick up your car.”

Oh, okay. I’m running. Call you later. [PANIC]

Okay, normally I would panic. But it’s been a pretty boring week so I had done a lot of cleaning already and I actually kinda missed my parents.

I figured I had a couple of hours so I took some photos at the park before heading back.

Clearly, the next stop was at the store for some alcohol and a movie because we tend to sit around awkwardly and I wanted to avoid that since my teenage cousin was coming along for the ride too, bless her soul.

Once my mother called me to let me know they were in town, I just started pacing. The wireless went out again at that moment so I couldn’t distract myself. I was so excited to see them even if it was only going to be for a couple of hours. I paced some more and told Orbison to calm down because he was making me nervous. He looked at me from the couch where he was trying to sleep and gave me  a look that said, “Pull yourself together. And bring me a taco.” I thought about how different this was compared to a year ago. A year ago, I would probably still be running around, hiding random things I thought they would judge me for and texting my bff about what an inconvenience this was. Just then Orbison leaped toward the door.

They brought me chicken nuggets and the food tasted like love.

Once upon a time my mother visited me and ripped the fan chain out in a hulk-like fashion. Maintenance took a look and said they would replace it. That was several weeks ago. My dad took a look at it as soon as he walked in and deemed it unfix-able as well. It always touches my heart how he always checks the apartment looking for things that might need fixing. I remember he got upset when I was younger because I rearranged my room while he was at work. He didn’t care that I had moved things, he was just sad I didn’t need his help. Yea, that’s the kind of dad I have.

My dad went to bed before the movie was over so my mom and I did what we do best. Stayed up and gossiped about random family members/people we work with/anyone who we happened to see that day. It was great.

It blows my mind that there was a time I didn’t know how to talk or be around these people. They’re actually pretty cool.

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