Klainer West is going to a Mariners-Red Sox game for Father’s Day. Matt is a Red Sox fan, going back to the days when he and Sara were both at Tufts. She’s a Red Sox fan too. Somehow I acquired Matt’s well-worn-in Red Sox ball cap, which I’ll wear. Most of the stadium will be filled with our home team Mariners fans. Archie, I suspect, will bring his glove.
The kids each made Matt a Father’s Day card/gift in school, which is a nice touch. Hard for kids without fathers, though. No easy way around that.
My father, who was a semi-pro pitcher for the Wisconsin Blues — love of baseball is in our genes — died in 1959, when I was fourteen. Fathers who die young get idealized, made larger than life, in memory. I pretend to think I’d know what my father would have liked, or thought, or done — but I don’t really. I had just started to see him as a person, distinct from “my dad”. I never got to talk with him in the adult-adult way that my kids and I talk, never really got to see him as a fully nuanced human being, a product of his own upbringing and education and opportunities and choices.
I more resemble the York side of the family, his side, in appearance and temperament. But I suspect I have little in common politically or otherwise with the Iowa relatives now, although there’s a warm bond of nostalgia. I wonder what I’d have in common with my father, had he lived to an old age like my mother, but I really have no way to know.