Father and child reunion

The Lolly Diaries has been dark for a couple of weeks – we’ve been across the Atlantic (and the Mediterranean) for a father and child reunion and rather dreamy vacation. (Plenty more about that to come, but this is about something else.)

Paul Simon sang “Mother and Child Reunion,” of course, but that’s still the song that ran through my head, with the paternal adaptation, each time I snapped a shot of John and Marie-Noelle.

Father and daughter on the ferry to Yvoire, France.

We hadn’t seen her since December.

I can remember how hard it is as a parent not to see your kids for so long from the months that passed when Liz and Ben were in the navy.

What I can’t imagine is how hard it’s been for the years that have passed since Marie-Noelle left the states. For either of them.

Luckily their love is strong and has held on. And as you can see from the photos, their resemblance is strong too – and their mannerisms identical. Cracks some of us up to see them gesturing to each other like mirror images.

Discussing a menu in Greve in Chianti.Just seconds before Marie-Noelle’s hands were on her hips, too. I missed the shot.

Watching them together also made me wonder what it would be like to have a father as a young woman in her 30s. Or an old woman in her 50s. That’s probably what made me burst into tears Monday night after reading a tiny letter to the editor about Father’s Day in Time.

Cloudburst of tears, out of the blue, after 30 years.

Go figure.

Actually, it’s easy to figure. A father’s influence, and presence or absence – let me just quote a very smart guy who once told me, “It’s always about our fathers, isn’t it?”

I married that guy. Lucky me.

He’s Marie-Noelle’s dad. Lucky her. (And lucky me, again.)

John and Marie-Noelle – and a fabulous table in Greve.

He’s also a great father to my daughter, whose own dad is in the area but sadly missing in action. That’s the worst kind of absence of all.

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On another note, but only sort of, because it’s really about family, too: I have to recommend Jonathan Franzen’s excellent Freedom,  which I read on the trip. Crazy good. The kind of book you’ll still be thinking about days after you read it.

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And another another note: Kudos again to Capital One for taking another bogus charge (made to my old credit card) off my bill with no questions asked. Damn thieves are out there, people.

But the folks at Capital One really do have our backs.

I’m jet-lagged. Better stop before I say something stupid(er??). But TLD is back. Talk to you soon.

Looking alike at lunch in Florence.

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