Some who read here regularly may know that my dad used to comment here, but though we’re a lot alike (big surprise, eh?), we share the single massive antagonism of religion. I hate it to the depth of my bones. He believes. I love him dearly, in spite of it. But it doesn’t stop me from spewing the hate I sometimes let loose here.
I could say that it’s because I care, but that’s pretty self-serving. Moreso, I think I allow myself to do it because I trust that our love and respect for one-another will ultimately withstand it. And, I respect his ability to draw necessary distinctions. Both of those assessments have proven true. My dad and I have a relationship that it’s almost natural to take for granted; it has changed so little in these many years.
My dad loves breakfast at cafes. Bacon & eggs; sausage & eggs; ham & eggs, and so on. Even in those days of relative modest financial means, he managed to get out to breakfast once a week — usually with his brother on Saturday morning. This is 40 years ago, now. Though I’m sure he left me behind a time or two, I can’t remember it. All I remember is going with him every Saturday morning and it was the most important thing in my life.
I’ve no idea how that has formed what I have become, because I can’t imagine a life without that cherished experience.
Do you know what? Except for my time away at college, and then my time living out of the country for several years, my dad and I have almost never missed a weekly breakfast together at the local cafe. Now it’s Friday mornings, and we’re joined by two of my three younger brothers. I can’t even imagine what that must be like for him.
But here’s what I wanted to write about. After the last conflagration, I "banned" him from commenting. It’s not as ominous as it sounds. We agreed it would be the best thing, and it’s become somewhat of a joke between us since. Outside the blog, our relationship hasn’t changed at all. There’s still bacon. There’s still eggs, hash browns (well done), and toast. Every Friday morning.
Then today, he made some comment on our family email list about not being allowed to comment. But you know what? There’s nothing preventing him from doing so. It’s just that he honors that I said not to…which got me to thinking.
I dunno, it was about a month or so ago, and my wife and I were having a conversation and she said something I’ve never in my life thought about. She said:
Your dad doesn’t lie.
I thought about that for a moment, and replied: "you’re right." When I think about it, not even the common ass-covering, embarrassment-saving, truth-shading little lies almost everyone tells. I’ve been guilty.
Damn straight. I can’t name a single lie my dad has ever told and you have no idea how important I think that is.