‘S funny, the things you remember…
I recall going with my dad to his work in one of the summer-holiday days. I could’ve possibly promoted the notion myself, in an attempt to get out and about and furthermore just be around the man some more. His workplace was a machine-shop (though in later years he retreated upstairs into the office area) and it was a big setting for a 6 or 7 year old, or whatever age I was at the time. I never went with him more than twice or max thrice, but I remember they’d moved about a lot and it was always a different setting each time. Lots of nooks and crannies(?) to explore for a youth. I came across a number of battery backs in boxes in some shop area, as big a number of batteries I’ve seen before or since. I immediately became fascinated about them and unwrapped a couple from the load of similar packages, and stacked them up and put some in my pocket to take home. I’m not sure as to what possessed me to do that, I’d never been one to shoplift or ‘borrow’ stuff. But I did and in some way he found out before the drive back, maybe some fell out of my pocket or what have you. Anyways, he seemed completely surprised and astonished and disappointed with me, and shameful me didn’t offer a word in defence or apology until he himself broke the silence halfway on the long return-drive. I guess this must’ve been the worst confrontation we ever had. Which,I suppose, speaks volumes. I remember staring out of the window of that white Vauxhall van, remember the rain falling on the side-window, time truly stands still when you’re a kid and in a corner you can’t get out of. I was glad when he spoke up, I don’t exactly recall his words but I remember they were of resolution and not confrontation.
Kids are like this, they aren’t able to seperate surroundings when their parents are close. I think only for a short beat did I contemplate the wrong in my wrongdoing, but I let it go because ‘my dad works here, so this all belongs to him in some way’. Maybe he recognized this after a few miles in that car, who knows. I do know the event made an inpact, as I wouldn’t remember it otherwise. He was always some distance away from me, when I think back he’s always off fixing something or away from home in whichever capacity, there’s not one memory of him playing with me. So naturally the day, and the emotional turmoil of a 7-year old, should register greater.
A long time ago that was. Now I guess I’m a dad myself, and trying hard to do a good job as just that. Though history repeats itself, I think more in terms of being the provider than being the phychologically skilled father; necessity has it so, as V has chosen not to tend to a job. I try my best, and can put my hand on the bible and swear in her first years I put in a tremendous effort in time and money to play and be with her, as I’ve already begun to do with our youngest. I’d rather not have either of them remembering me as someone a distance away from them. I’m confident they won’t; these are times of greater intimacy between parents and their offspring, and I’ve never shyed from a chance of showing nor telling them outright I loved them. I even believe myself skilled at it. It’s of course for them to judge, later on.