Disappointments from childhood are the most complicated to unpack. I say this without reservation and with total authority.
“Closeup Caterpillar On A Green Leaf” courtesy of iamharin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.
When I was twelve, my mother was diagnosed with a (then) rare but very treatable form of cancer. It shook us all to our core since she was the one who “lived clean”–juxtaposed against my Dad–she had no history of drinking, didn’t smoke, avoided the sun. We found out that it had also metastasized (spread) and she was going to have to have surgery to remove the cancer and aggressive treatments of iodine therapy to remove anything left. During iodine therapy she couldn’t have visitors and couldn’t touch certain types of people so I could not see her. The therapy coincided with a pre-planned annual vacation we were to take, so my father decided instead of being home and not visiting my mother we would go and I would bring a friend with me.
Last night as I was tucking Sean into bed, he asked me to tell him a story that had “Papa K” in it. Even though he’s never met you he’s fascinated by stories about you–maybe because he carries your name as his middle name or because he’s always told how much he looks just like you or because he has to wear glasses like you did (he even tried your old ones on).
Like today, we were in a cab and he wanted to know about when you tried to do stand-up comedy and what were some of your jokes.
When I was 14 or 15, my Dad and I settled into one of many “serious conversations.” this occurred when I had really screwed up and/or refused his advice on some critical topic…so it happened a lot.
This particular conversation took place after having discussed and revisited one of my not-so-smart decisions and now looking back on it as a parent myself, I think he had decided a course correction was in order.
“You know 99% of everything there is to know…” he started and my ears perked up.
“But there’s still this 1% that you don’t know… I know the 1%… And remember you know NOTHING of this at all.” I was slightly deflated but intrigued.