It was fabulous last night, Papa (my Dad) came up to stay. My folks live a three hour drive away and I was incredibly conscious of keeping up lots of contact while the DLB was small. I tried to visit every month or so and usually managed to see them more often than that. The first nights I spent away from the DLB he was left with them and he has a lovely relationship with both of my parents (and their dog!).
Things have been a bit - well tense- with my Mum since I came out to her and contact over the last year or so has been rare and not all that pleasant. But Dad has been clear and consistent with me that all he wants is for me to be happy and that he knows I would never do anything to harm the DLB (from this you are getting the hang of my mothers rather different message).
After a very difficult year we seem to be getting somewhere and have had a couple of decent family gatherings over the last couple of months. GO says we have moved from denial and anger to Mum tolerating her presence to now Mum being pretty polite. There is a long way to go but it is movement and so we are starting to spend time together again.
Anyway, my folks have just recently retired and Dad in particular seems to be enjoying the freedom of being able to decide to do something and 'just do it'. A trip to Sydney was required to pick up some legs for a table he is making so he also picked up the DLB from school and hung with him until I got home from work. They made a kite, put some holes in the wall where a picture needs to hang and went out for a milkshake together. The DLB loves doing 'fings with Papa' especially tool type things. When he was smaller my Dad used to wait until he came to visit to mow the lawn because the DLB would sit on a bench and watching him or follow behind with his toy version. Dad used to bring drills and wood with him and he and the DLB would spend ages making a hole in something putting a screw in it and then taking it out again. Thrilling stuff! He admires my Dad no end.
Once when they were sweeping leaves up together early on a Sunday morning and my Mum and I were inside having a cup of tea and a chat, Dad walked past the window with his rake on his shoulder. The DLB had flung his over his shoulder as well and my Dad knocked on the window to get our attention to this. As he walked past (all of two and half with a rake over his shoulder) the DLB knocked on the window in exactly the same way.
Then we had dinner. GO was working a bit late but came home in time to eat hers and have a chat with Dad. It was lovely and normal and normal and lovely.