Here’s Looking At You Kid

I haven’t written much about my daughter because there hasn’t been all that much to write about. After our remarkable reunion last summer and a couple subsequent Saturdays spent together, the last time I saw her is when her and a couple friends made a wonderful and surprise visit to the house around Christmas. Since then our relationship has settled in to me sending the occasional email telling her I was thinking about her and wondering how things were going, and her responding cordially with some bit of information about school, her friends, or life in general.

Through these infrequent contacts I’ve learned she’s gotten a job at a local Burger King and that she’s persuing the completion of her high school education via an independent studies program of some kind, and that it’s going well.

I’ve played tug-of-war internally with the desire to want to see her more and my desire to want to be seen. In other words, I don’t want to force myself on her or intrude. For wont of a better or more appropriate analogy I’m a bit like John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything who shows up at the big party with his dream date only to spend most of it admiring her from afar. For five years that distance between Kate and me had been galactic in scope. For the last few months we’ve been drawn closer by intents far more sincere and respectful and healthy, but at the same time when I cast my mind out with thoughts of Kate it’s still across a wide stretch of void.

But at least there’s a bridge spanning it now. And like the unexpected and unannounced visit at Christmas, she has occasion to cross over it to me:

From: Katie Campbell
Subject: HI
Date: April 10, 2006 7:00:28 PM PDT
To: William Campbell

Heyy Dad,

If you’re not do anything on April 21 (Friday) at like 6:30 I’m singing in a Disney Talent Show at Granada HS.

I wrote her back thanking her for inviting me and telling her I would not miss it. I asked if it was OK to bring Susan.

From: Katie Campbell
Subject: Re: HI
Date: April 10, 2006 10:04:46 PM PDT
To: William Campbell

Yeah, it would be awesome if Susan came as well.

Very cool. So I followed that up asking if she’s decided what she’ll be singing.

From: Katie Campbell
Subject: Re: HI
Date: April 10, 2006 10:14:07 PM PDT
To: William Campbell

Yes, I will be singing “One Song” from Snow White solo and “Reflections” from Mulan as a duet with my friend Meradee.


I couldn’t help but be reminded of the angry email I got from her back in 2002 in which she made it abundantly clear that I was persona non grata where her future was concerned. She didn’t want me at any skating competition, recital, softball game, graduation, wedding… nothing.

Man, but we’ve come a long way back, huh?

Published by


Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."