I was just waiting by the front window, scanning the street for my father and step-mother’s car (they’re up for the weekend) and it occurred to me how much of my life has been spent waiting by a window, watching for my father. He’s perpetually late. I would see him at least every other Sunday growing up and would start watching at the window at least half an hour before I knew he’d show up, hoping that he’d be early.
My father is not a particularly expressive man. He’s the product of German and Hungarian parents, the Central Europeans not known necessarily for their emotional outbursts. That’s not really the point though. I relished those hours away from my mother’s house growing up, even if they were austere in actual emotional communication. It was in sharp contrast to the over-emtional (and oftentimes false feeling) environment that made up my daily life.
When I came out to my father, he had virtually no reaction. Maybe he already suspected or maybe he was just so much of a hippie that it didn’t really strike up as something at all to worry about. We’ve never really talked about it much except when I came out to my mother a second time and he got pulled into her emotional whirlwind, something he was less than thrilled about (not that I blame him).
We understand each other even if we’ve never really talked about it, I think. I know he loves me even if he never says it. I know that I’ve always had his full support in everything I’ve done, except when he hasn’t thought it a good idea. On those rare occasions, he’s expressed his doubt but allowed me to make my own decision.
Here I am, 25 now, waiting at the window excitedly for my father. Part of me feels 12 again, anxious to get out of the house and go off and spend a day with my dad, no matter what we might end up doing.
This is very different, though. This time he’ll actually come inside the house–well, apartment–because it’s my home. Tomorrow he and my step-mother will come to dinner at my home. It will be, I think, the first time that I’ll have made him dinner. Somehow that seems significant, particularly as someone who sees food and communal dining as an expression of love and deep connection amongst people.
Anyway, back to my window to watch for a man who, though he says little, means so much.