I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this one. You'll have to bear with me. Well, when I say, "have to", I hope you don't think I'm implying any obligation on your part or parts, should I have readers in the plural, a decreasing likelihood I fear due to the rather sporadic nature of my posting recently but the Caol Ila is in me and I must follow whither it leads.
First stop, a linguistic analysis. Father...farther away than ever. Vater...an apt description, particularly first thing in the morning while I'm waiting for the kettle to boil. Pere...as in on a, no doubt. The feeling engendered by a golden duck and the prospect of another to follow. Rather aposite I fancy, seeing as the cricket season is almost upon us. Apa...nice and neutral that one and I'm starting to actually prefer it as an appellation, by Froggy for the use of. God, that was clumsy. Pray forgive me. Or anally implode. The choice is yours.
I have been a father now for nearly five years and I am still waiting for the feeling to kick in. For my self-image to distort through a paternal lens, for my brain to engage parent mode and force me to give up smoking and drinking to excess and to do something about the surfeit of adipose deposit I carry.
I love my daughter. She can touch me like no other and yet...I am STILL waiting. Maybe I'm holding back, not allowing myself to feel all that I should or perhaps I'm actually incapable of it and why should this be?
I am the minority parent and speaker of the minority language. I have always spoken to her in my mother tongue and yet she does not speak much English beyond the formulaic. She cannot manipulate the language. In the house, Hungarian...Idris does not speak English. Nursery school, the same. Everywhere, the identical situation holds. Nearly five years in and I'm just starting to realise that my daughter inhabits a different world from mine own. Not only generationally but culturally, too. She is Hungarian. I'm not.
She seems to understand almost everything I say to her but that is much more than can be said for my understanding of her. Okay, she will start to learn English at school someday but can I wait that long? Besides, I learnt French and German yet would probably be very hard pushed to carry out a conversation in either language that didn't involve either alcoholic comestibles or a bed for the night. Bottom line is, I cannot communicate 100% with my own daughter. Am I taking the easy option, then? Is it self preservation? Is it just this that's holding me back?
Or is it that I'm rootless? Adrift? Without known ancestry? An adoptee, still struggling to come to terms with his place, or lack of it, in the world? Maybe the fact that I didn't really fit either genetically or hereditarily (clumsy again but fuck it) into the family I was very nearly born into (five weeks) is preventing me from fitting into the family I have sired.
Oh, well. I shall take comfort from the fact that, at times like these, I take refuge in the well worn phrase of my own, adoptive, father, "Bugger, bugger, damn, shit, blast."