Catching Up

There have been a lot of things to write about., but not a whole bunch of time or desire to do so. My daughter stayed with us this weekend — the first time doing so in more than six years. I picked her up Friday night out at the Burger King in Granada Hills where she works and we spent the night in front of the TV with some take-out from our Friday fave Pho before setting her up with one of the air mattresses in the library and calling it a night.

Saturday morning she came with Susan and me for a long walk around the neighborhood with Shadow followed by breakfast at Millie’s (something Susan and I haven’t done since we started watching our calories), and a stop at the Silver Lake farmers market. Later on Kate came with me grocery shopping and I introduced her to Amoeba Records. She was appropriately impressed by the size of the place, but strangely turned down my offer pick out a disc of her liking. After getting back from the market I had the bird rescue to contend with and then we had dinner before Susan and I got ready and left Kate to guard the fort and the recovering bird while we went to see The Black Rider at the Ahmanson (you can read my review of it here on

Sunday morning I was surprised to find her up when I’d arisen (she didn’t get up until around 10 a.m. on Saturday) and on the phone with her boyfriend asking me if it was cool for him to come pick her up. I had been looking forward to having her with us the rest of the day, but once we cleared it with her mom that it was OK I opted not to stand in the way of the infinitely more interesting things a teenager could do than spend it with her old man. Despite trouble and frustration giving her boyfriend directions here, he somehow managed to find the place and in short order Kate was headed away from my world and back to hers, leaving me with a head full of questions and doubts about my role in her life, Kate’s interest in me being in it

Kate is a wonderful young woman. Polite and well-mannered and respectful and talktative (when you land on a topic that interests her). But she’s also very much withdrawn and cautious — and that’s fully understandable. With me she’s a stranger in a strange land trying to figure out how to fit in or how I fit in with her. And the best I can do is make that transition as easy for her as possible.

The one thing I came to realize from this is that if I’m going to make strides in alleviating the hesitation or awkwardness that she feels then I’m going to have to start seeing Kate on a more regular basis… like every other weekend. Even if it’s just to grab lunch or go catch a movie or toss a softball around in the park. If I wait for her to come to me, then I won’t be hearing from her until the next situation arises that brought about this weekend visit — and who knows how long that might be.

Hopefully she’ll be willing to give that a go.