Father's Day this year was pretty pleasant. I drove home on Saturday for dinner but my mom had a wedding reception to attend, so it was just me and my dad. Out of all the places we could have eaten, he wanted KFC. Original recipe. From one specific KFC, because the other one wasn't as good. We were the only ones that evening celebrating Father's Day with fried chicken. Then he wanted to use a couple Baskin Robbins coupons that he had been holding onto for years so we did that. It was still pretty early and the sun was out when we got home, so we spent an hour or so washing and waxing my car. My job is still pretty new, so we had more than usual to talk about. Altogether unusually pleasant. Which is strange because a matter of months ago I had all but given up on the relationship and thought him the worst person in the world. Odd thing how family dynamics ebb and flow.
I am writing this, however, at 4:30 AM after having woken up in a sweat. I dreamed that my father was acting like the worst person in the world again. Like teeth clenchingly, screaming cuss fest bad. So bad that I woke up angry and out of breath. I remember specifically recalling in the dream that Father's Day was only two days ago and had gone well. I walked out to the living room for some water and felt I should write this out, perhaps against my better judgement. The 5:00 AM world is still half-enveloped in a cloud of haze, both outside my window and in my mind. Anyway, I know that one of the keys to this complicated relationship is the dropping of all expectations and a love that is blind to flaws. It is difficult because of so much past disappointment and circumstance and I hope I have at least a few more Father's Days to figure it out. I guess this would be a good time to pray a little before I drift back to sleep and maybe to more pleasant dreams.