Monday, July 20, 2009

I spent the weekend with my stepdad.....

So this weekend was quite a different one for me. I was flying solo as I worked Friday, Saturday, Sunday and the husband was re-visiting his old military life running around and shooting things at an Army Reserves weekend. My Dad and Step-Mum had the little man. They are saints as this is the second weekend in a row they have kindly looked after him for us.

Anyway, in between my shifts at work, I hung out withy my step-dad. He is home alone for 3 weeks as my Mum is out of town on a Navy exercise somewhere off Magnetic Island (another story for another day). Since I would be going backwards and forwards to work which is just down the road from my parents house, I thought I would stay there. You might be wondering why spending a weekend with your step-dad would be classed as 'different'. A valid question since spending time with a parent one on one is a natural occurrence for most people. Let me just say that, trust me, it is 'different'. Anyone who knows my step-dad will be able to vouch for me here, I'm sure. He doesn't exactly 'do' hanging out. He is not 'touchy feely', he doesn't really 'chat' and he isn't a one on one person. When I thought about it, this was the first time in my life where I had ever been with my step-dad without at least one other family member. Initially I thought it would just be me and him existing in the same space for 2 days and 2 nights, doing our own things. But as it turned out, the universe had other things in mind. The internet connection completely stuffed up on Saturday which meant everything I had planned to do with my time on Saturday evening and on Sunday until 2pm could no longer be done. So I decided to embrace the situation and challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone. Here's what we did:
  • Ate fish for dinner on Saturday night. My step-dad had gone down to the markets on Saturday (there is a free bus that takes you down there you know), and picked out some coral trout that he did in a garlic, butter and lemon sauce. His choice would have been pork chops and sauerkraut but I rejected that tempting offer! I have to also say that he brought a tear to my eye when he told me that he saw me in lululemon as he drove by on the bus and he waved to me as he went past but I didn't see him. Despite the fact that I wouldn't have a hope in hell of noticing someone waving at me from a bus hurtling past the store, I thought the sentiment was sweet. 
  • Drank very, very, very strong coffee that he made for us on Sunday morning. 
  • Discussed how 'chuffed' he was with himself for tracking down a dry cleaner who could finally get the stain out of his favourite leather jacket that he got in Las Vegas a number of years ago (numerous trips to other dry cleaners before this had resulted in a whole lot of money being spent to still have the stain on the jacket). 
  • I listened to his take on the impending Master Chef finale. This didn't surprise me as he is a food lover, but what did surprise me was his filling me in on who was romancing who from the show (he normally would find such things to be very trivial and certainly wouldn't chat about it). 
  • We walked around the Aroma festival in Circular Quay and The Rocks (photo of the Opera House taken on the walk is above).
  • We walked to world square where we ate Vietnamese special beef noodle soup (including tendon and tripe. See I really did fully immerse myself in the step-dad experience!). 
Yes he drove me mad at times and yes having 'conversations' with him was still not really my idea of a conversation (it was pretty much, as always, me just listening to his view on topics chosen by him). Would I choose to do it again in a hurry? Probably not, but I'm glad I did do it. All issues and frustrations I have with him aside, he has been a person who, for better or worse, has been in my life for most of it. No matter what, I think it would be pretty pathetic to get to the end of his or my time and not be able to recall a single instance where I had spent time alone with him. So I'm glad to say that I did it. 

1 comment:

  1. wow ... you really followed the suggestions in your previous post regarding relationships! It sounds like the greatest gift you gave each other was to truly listen and while your step-dad did the talking, it sounds from his actions, that he has attempted to really see or hear you, in whatever manner he is capable of.

    oh ... and isn't Learning to Breathe amazing? What a life! And I just saw the Michael Fox show the other night ... ready to see Bhutan!