Special Man and I were at dinner with Dad and his long-term girlfriend. And I was emotional and not feeling well; I had all but decided to let things go for another conversation, another day. After all, why did Dad need to know anything about my alternative relationship structure? Who the hell cared?
We sat at dinner, eating a fantastic gumbo, and chatting. My ribs were aching, and it was only the second time I had been out since the car accident ten days before. I was idly wishing I was at home in bed. Special Man and Dad carried the conversation easily, and I was content to mostly listen, and comment occasionally.
And then my father, in all his wisdom (or fatherly sixth sense) said, “So is there a reason for this dinner?”
And there it was. I hadn’t seen it coming. I couldn’t speak. I started to cry. It was stress, it was emotion, it was fear.
SMF asked me if I wanted him to talk and I nodded. I had no words.
Of course Special Man said all the right things. He expressed his love for me and his commitment to me. He talked of honesty and openness. He spoke freely of not knowing exactly what our relationship would look like in another two, or five years, but that he could not see his life without me in it in some way.
I wish I had a transcript of the things my father then spoke. Amazing and beautiful things about how I deserved to have this love and tenderness. Insightful and wise things about owning my choices and my adulthood. Thoughtful and kind things about reassuring my children when we get to the point of being completely out.
As we parted, he hugged Special Man. “Welcome to the family,” he said. And I know he meant it. Then he told me that he loved me and that I was a good girl.
It was like a damn Lifetime movie.
I spent most of the next day trying not to over analyze and second guess everything that had been said, or not said. Today I feel relieved. My Dad loves me and that’s all any little girl wants to know.
Funny thing is, I haven’t felt like a little girl in a long, long time.