I was never one of those little girls that secretly wished her divorced parents would get back together. I didn't ping pong between their homes each weekend like most kids of estranged parents. I lived with my mom and spent very little time with my dad.
I'm sure some custody agreement buried deep in a divorce decree somewhere says I should have but I just never did. Sadly, I missed out on some very important bonding time with my dad. While I can't get that back, now we have managed to forge a loving relationship.
Over the last year or so I let hurt feelings and angry emotions surface a little more often than I'd like where my dad is concerned. I blamed him for missing important events like births and weddings, which isn't entirely fair given the distance we live apart. A couple months ago he agreed to spend 4 days with my sister and I.
We picked him up at the airport late Thursday evening. I wasn't sure what to expect. I love my dad but we are two very different people and having not spent a lot of time together I wasn't sure we were even going to be comfortable together. It's not as if you can add water, stir and have an instant father/daughter relationship where only a strained relationship existed before. Turns out, you kinda can! We must share enough of something because we are comfortable together. We talked and learned things about each other. Things he regrets and things I needed him to know.
We had family time. REAL FAMILY TIME! I watched my mom and him talk and laugh easily. They shared smiles over the blond curls of their first great grand daughter. All of their grandchildren in one place at one time. We took pictures. Many, many pictures.
Tracey got a tattoo and mine will follow shortly incorporating dads handwriting because we determined that we didn't have anything that said "Love, dad" and now we do....permanently.
It was nearly a perfect weekend.
For a few minutes right before he got on that plane to go home, I was that little girl secretly wishing her parents weren't divorced.