I went to pick up my dad from the airport today after he has spent two months visiting the family in our homeland on the other side of the ocean. I got a huge welcome hug, it was nice! We walked over to my car and he threw his luggage in the trunk. Then he pulled out a pack of cigarettes. Do you want to try some Polish cigarettes? - he asked. I am thinking not really... but before I got a chance to answer he says - Come on, these are really good! - and he hands me a cigarette. And I put it to my lips and he lights it!
What? What the heck just happened!? I mean I smoke, here and there, mostly just part-time because I just don't have the time and the kids are always around and I don't like to smoke around them. Oh and yes it is bad for me! (ok, ok, I know!)
But there we were, standing by the car, smoking, like we were the long lost friends reuniting after many, many years apart or something... I mean how often does daughter - father smoke cigarettes together! Lol! But, good grief, it felt strangely familiar, a bit like the old times when we drank together...
Yes, we used to drink together, but not like I normally drank, we drank like he normally drank. He would pull out the new... something and then tell me all about it, and where it was from, and how it was made and on and on. Then we would sip and smell.... And sip and smell. He did this with anything, wine, beer, cognac - he actually enjoyed the drink itself! I just wanted to drink! But, I enjoyed having this time with him, because we actually didn't get along that well... He never seemed happy with anything that I was doing, and then complained about the things that I wasn't doing but should be! Ugh. But when we were drinking, we just laughed and carried on!
I really looked forward to those times, I felt like it was my only bond with my dad. When I got sober, I remember actually grieving the fact that I was never going to do that with him again! And when I came to visit him, there was this strangeness, that awkward moment... he would greet me and then he didn't know what to do next. He actually didn't drink around me for the first few years, which was nice and considered, yet even more awkward.
So he was chattering and we were smoking and he was telling me all about his trip, and going on and on, like he does, and then he looks straight at me and says - I heard that you celebrated 5 years! I can't believe it! Congratulations. You are truly amazing!
Let me tell you, my dad has never sounded this excited about anything that I have ever done in the past! Yes, truly amazing.