Bonding Time

I don’t spend a lot of time alone with my Dad. 
And it’s not because we don’t get along – we have always gotten on just fine. When I was little, my Mom was a Fire Chief and was busy a lot, so my Dad and I would have “kiyoko-daddy” days, where we’d go to the park, eat at certain restaurants, etc. Kiyoko-daddy days were special – and fun.

At some point though, we fell out of the habit. I went to middle school, high school, now college, and kiyoko-daddy days became less and less common, eventually tapering off completely. My Mom and I regularly spend days together chatting over lunch, going through every rack at the local Goodwill, hanging out over common interests. My Dad isn’t a big small talker, definitely isn’t into thrift shopping, and we don’t have many common hobbies, despite being incredibly similar people.

Father-daughter relationships can be hard. Through the early teenage years, relations with parents are frequently tense no matter what, and having a father who was watchful and often a little nosy was not something I appreciated at the time – even if I can see, now, it helped make me who I am. I starting becoming friends with my Mom by the time I was 16, but my Dad’s more verbal, upfront parenting style has made transitioning from completely parent-kid to a little more adult-adult has been more challenging.

As I finish up the last few weeks of my first summer since starting college, I wanted to bring back the bonding times that my Dad and I used to have. Today, we ended up running errands (hardware, guitar strings, liquor), and then spending some time downtown (art galleries, coffee shops). The conversation doesn’t flow as smoothly as it does with my Mom, and there are more forced quiet moments instead of voluntary. We are incredibly similar: our unrelenting hardheadedness, a love of arguing, intellectual pursuits, which can lead to lots of little disagreements and conversations revolving around debates. But it was still nice – I managed to talk him out of spontaneously buying too much art and talk him into buying me coffee – it can be frustrating, but I’m very thankful for the relationship we have.

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The Emporium is my favorite art gallery downtown. The cozy studio spaces, beautiful exposed brick, and wide variety of art styles make it interesting on every visit.

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Remedy Coffee, in the Old City, is my favorite local coffee shop. The coffee is great, the big windows keep the room bright, and the slightly vintage feel is welcoming and fun. A great spot for college kids, bespectacled newspaper readers, and awkward father-daughter duos alike.

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Today was finally not ridiculously hot – I used it as an excuse to layer up and wear a hat without feelin’ gross. Bring on the cool weather, felt hats, and layers!

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