I was looking way forward to this Memorial Day weekend, because my mom, sister, and sister's boyfriend were driving up today from Utah to visit for the weekend. Unfortunately, I just found out that Kate and her boyfriend woke up this morning feeling sick, so they aren't coming up anymore. Rather than drive alone today, my mom called my Dad, who had been planning to come up anyway (not that he told me or Tony about his plans), and now they are driving up tomorrow, which is fine, but I'm bummed that now we will have one less day to visit with Madre.
My son has a state soccer tournament in Great Falls all weekend, but my daughter has a softball game tonight, so he is going after school today to Great Falls with his dad, while we planned to do a day trip to Great Falls on Sunday to see him play and to give Grandma a chance to see him. Apparently, my dad chooses to NOT travel with us on Sunday. He'd rather attend church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints takes major pride (you know, the righteous kind of pride, not the sinful pride) in teaching that FAMILY is the Most Important Thing. This may be true in many LDS families, but it certainly isn't true for my dad. I am fairly certain that he feels he is Choosing The Right by being a righteous example to his poor, misguided, wayward, apostate daughter and her poor, innocent children whom she's leading astray. But all I see is a pathetic excuse of a man who is unable to see how his behavior gives the clear message to his daughters and grandkids that they rate below three hours of boring church. He spends countless hours a week on church things and temple service and genealogy work. He spends a few hours a year visiting us.
I have a guest bedroom all prepared for him. The thing is, I have no idea if he'll choose to stay with me in comfort, or if he'll opt to stay at his (abandoned since 1996) house across town ~ the house that has no power, heat, or running water. That's what he did last time he came to town. He filled a five gallon jug with water from my house and camped out at his house in a sleeping bag, and the temperature was over 100 degrees. So strange. He actually went to TWO wards that Sunday, for a total of 6 hours, rather than come and spend time with his grandkids.
We were in Utah last June over Father's Day weekend, traveling through from our trip to Las Vegas for a soccer regional tournament. I called him, telling him we'd be at his mom's house in Kaysville for about three hours, and asked if he could drive down and visit from Brigham City since we had plans that evening and couldn't make it up there and back with any time to see him. He said no, he had gotten up early to clean the church building, and besides, he had just seen his mother yesterday, and it IS 100 miles round-trip, you know. Oh, yeah, well, um...Happy Father's Day, Dad. Really.
Some parents teach by example. My dad teaches me what NOT to do by his.