I was last with my dad when I was 9. I am 41 now.
We have emailed back and forth for the last year or so and over Christmas I spoke to him a couple of times on Skype. But that’s never the same as meeting in person is it?
On Friday he is flying in from Spain where he lives to run a workshop in Manchester. The hubby, the little one and I are going down to Manchester to meet him and his fiancé. The little one is very excited about meeting her Poppa. She has a storybook idea of what families should be like so loves the idea of having a grandfather.
I am starting to fill up with a nervous, anxious, excited feeling. I know he reads this blog and I’m pretty sure he’ll be going through something similar.
Because we don’t know each other at all. We have never had the chance to get to know each other. The circumstances of my childhood meant that I didn’t really have good memories of my dad. Then again, unlike some of the other adults in my childhood I didn’t have bad memories of him either.
We are, in many ways strangers. But he is also my dad. And I really need a dad. There, I said it. In many ways I am like the little one in that I’d like a storybook version of what it’s like to have a dad. Nothing about growing up for me was storybook, unless you consider the fairytales that have the wicked stepmother!
And I wonder is it too late? Are all my expectations wrong here? Should I go into meeting him like I am meeting someone I knew when I was a kid like an uncle or a family friend? Should I not load it up with a whole bunch of expectations about reuniting with my dad after all these years?
The problem is, that as all the protective layers have been dealt with on this personal journey of mine, I am left with a little girl who is looking at the world with fresh eyes. I can have the wonder of a child. I can have the happiness of a child. But I can also be hurt in a way I haven’t been able to be for many many years.
So it’s going to be an interesting week this week I think!