Dinnerlude


Now if only we'd had enough time for a walk.

Now if only we’d had enough time for a walk.

I was able to have dinner with my Dad yesterday, which was a nice surprise.

Over the weekend I got a phone call saying that he was coming through LA for business and would I like to get together once he was done with work? I did, of course, but my hope that it would actually happen were not high. I only had a two hour window of free time between classes falling exactly at rush hour. Work was going to take him to Victorville and would likely take until five PM and I didn’t think it was likely that he would be able to make it all the way from Victorville to campus in rush hour traffic for my very limited window of free time.

But he did. Work finished early and traffic was good. When I emerged from my afternoon class in the basement I discovered that he was already a block away from campus. So we got to do dinner together, which was a nice surprise. My only disappointment was that I didn’t have more time to visit, and if that is all that I have to complain about then I really can’t complain at all.

When I was a kid we got to do “Days With Dad”. These first came about at Christmas in the form of coupons written in rhyme along the lines of:

“Merry Christmas! You haven’t been bad,

So what you get is a Day with Dad!

We could go to the museum, the park, or the zoo-

Just us two alone, and have lunch too!”

For the first one, when I was about eight or nine, we went to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Thorne miniatures- a thrill for me who, at the time, was quite into dollhouse miniatures. We had lunch at Bennigans across the street.

Later, when I grew up and started working in the city we started doing cheese lunches and going for walks along the Chicago lakefront. These were always a treat: they happened just rarely enough to be special and just regularly enough to be a “thing”.

Now, being so far away and so wrapped up in grad school and the general hustle of trying to launch a career the chances for Dinner with Dad seems to be a very rare exception indeed. I wish that it didn’t have to be that way. It’s easy to put it out of my head when I’m busy, but sometimes I get reminded of how far away family is and how rare and precious the opportunities to visit with them are.

That said, looking on the bright side, the fact that these opportunities are so rare is what makes them so memorable.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 24, 2015.

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