My father and I got along for a while.
To simplify things, the story is that he and I have always fought. But that isn't strictly true. It is true that he always preferred my sister's company to mine (in the natural way that some people just enjoy each other more). It is true that I never held his attention really--I wasn't anyone particularly interesting or special to him when it came to me personally. He always loved me--and it isn't as though I came out of the womb and we started fighting.
There was this brief moment though--when I was old enough to have real conversations and my sister was all teen angsty-when he and I enjoyed each other. I think it was maybe around a year, right after we moved here to Washington. We watched movies every night--working our way through all of the James Bond films and movies he considered classics. We are popcorn and played cards. It was just this moment in time when we just drank each other in.
In the next couple of years I hit puberty and I think he stopped being able to pretend I was his son and I don't know. Teenage girls are unpleasant at best, I can't blame him really. But we drifted away from each other. We became these people who would tense up when the other person was in the room. I can piss my father off by sitting a certain way.
I don't blame my dad. He loves me. He did the best that he could. He and I just don't get on together the way that we would want to. I am lucky to have a father like him though because he wants me to be happy so much.
I can't help seeing the difference though, in how J is with our daughter. How he plays with her and holds her and just loves her for who she is. Now, who she is doesn't play loud music or wear inappropriate clothing and she hasn't called him a cocksucker yet. But this weekend he played tea party with her for hours, even though he would rather have done anything else, because she wanted him to and because he loves her.
My daughter won't ever have to wonder what is so wrong with her that her father is indifferent to her. She won't have to try to change so that he will think that she is worthy or interesting. She already is.