Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back to school

K1 and K2 went back to school the day after Labor Day. It's always a bit of a transition for me and probably for them as well. I always look forward to picking them up and having them all home. Somehow there is a feeling of coziness and homey-ness when they're home. I suppose this is what is meant when a house is a home and it really doesn't matter where the house is. I think that at some subconcious level they understand it - everytime we go on vacation, they adjust to the hotel/house/apartment easily - but they howl everything I mention moving away. Perhaps they're just worried where their "prized possessions" will go.

Incidentally, Brooke Lea Foster had an interesting article on fathers and daughters:
A daughter’s relationship with her father is like no other. But as a girl gets older, it can be harder to connect with Dad. ... Then sometimes when we were alone, we could seem like strangers, as though we were trying to get to know each other. ...

Daughters have a different relationship with their fathers than with their mothers. Our mothers listen to the play-by-play of our days.

Fathers provide different support: They talk with their grown daughters about where to invest their money, whether the job they’re considering is a good choice. Dad is the person we call if our car breaks down, sometimes even after we’re married. ....

Nielsen challenged me to think about my happiest memories of my father. I thought back to when I was young: Dad playing guitar while I danced around him. Dad teaching me to ride a bike. Dad showing a den of bunnies to me.

That I was so young in these memories didn’t surprise Nielsen. “Culture says dads should stay involved with their daughters until they’re nine or ten,” she says. “In adolescence, we see them distancing. Often our best memories of Dad are from our childhood—and then our wedding.”

Linda Nielsen suggests that a daughter’s discomfort with puberty makes her unconsciously pull away from her father. Then adolescence lasts several years, making it easy for a father and daughter to grow apart. ....

If people ask about my father, I tell them how silly he is. It’s the part of him I most identify with. As I get older and feel myself changing, I rely on our silliness to keep us close. Part of what bonds us is that we imitate the velociraptors in Jurassic Park or pretend we can break dance.
But sometimes I worry that’s not enough; I feel I’m slipping away from Dad. I love literary fiction, independent movies, and European cities. Dad doesn’t like to read novels, and he hates getting on airplanes. He runs a painting business on eastern Long Island. As a reporter, I tend to interview the kinds of people whose houses he spackles.

Still, it’s not that Dad wouldn’t want to hear me talk about my interests—and I’m hardly the model of sophistication—but talking with him about what interests me sometimes makes me uncomfortable, as if I’m putting on airs. So I leave things out when we talk.

Sometimes I fear that my life in Washington is getting too different for Dad to relate to. I worry that the more I tell him about who I really am, the less he’ll want to be around me.

Much more on the link.

No comments: