Two recent Dad-stories.
Last weekend Jeff and I sat on my parents' deck, eating BBQ, chit-chatting about nothing-in-particular. Seemingly out of nowhere, my Dad asked, "Am I the same Dad as when you were a kid? Do I look the same?"
"No," I said. "You don't. You're softer. Nicer. Less drunk. Less mean. Your hair is greyer and you're just less intense. I mean, but, yeah, you sort of look the same. Older, obviously. But I just like you more now." He laughed a little, taking it in, accepting the retro-critique.
Today, on the phone, we got to reminiscing about our weekend camping trips. He recalled my sister and I singing at the top of our lungs in our tent-trailer, not a care in the world about who might hear us, surrounded there in the woods by dozens of other families. He remembered saying to my Mom, "I wish they would keep it down!" And today, anxious to go back, he recanted "It was silly. I wish I had just let you sing your hearts out."
And that's good enough for me. It sort of obliterates history and replaces it with something softer, something nicer. It's so easy to love him nowadays, the older I get, the more I come to realize.
(My Dad, 1960. A pretty queer picture, if you ask me.)