When I was a little girl, a time when I never heard of “bonding time” (or, even if I had, I doubt if I would have understood it anyway), I spent a lot of Saturday mornings at my father’s office. That was our special time. Just him and me. We didn’t really do anything special. He’d be reading and talking to clients and I just entertained myself exploring the grounds adjacent to his office. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have his attention a hundred per cent of the time. What mattered was that I was with him.
When Sam and Alex were in pre-school, there were times when they accompanied Speedy to the office on Saturday mornings. Like history repeating itself, I told myself.
I never understood exactly what my father got out of the habit of taking me with him to the office on Saturdays. Not that I really thought about it back then. Maybe, I asked him to. Maybe I threw tantrums until he agreed. Or, maybe, he was just a proud father who was happy to show his daughter off. Maybe, Speedy felt the same way.
Or, maybe, fathers derive a peculiar joy in having his daughter with him, to see her every time he looked up from his work. Perhaps, young daughters have a calming effect on fathers.
I don’t really know. I’ll never know because I am not a father. What I do know is that those Saturday mornings with my father ended when I was not so little anymore. Same thing with Speedy and the girls. By the time they were in the last few years of grade school, they no longer accompanied him to the office on Saturday mornings.
I thought about all that earlier while Sam and Speedy, shears and electric razor in hand, spent a huge part of the afternoon shaving Twix, Sam’s pomspitz (cross breed of pomeranian and Japaneze Spitz) that we gave her on her 16th birthday. I could hear them laughing and bantering and, except when Sam asked me to look in, I didn’t interfere. Father and daughter were bonding although I’m sure they weren’t even aware of it. I did take photos though when Sam asked me to look at what she and her father had done to Twix.
Later, as I soaked in the tub, I could still hear Sam and Speedy in the garden through the open bathroom window. Sam was giving Twix his bath, Speedy was cleaning up, and I thought… No, I didn’t think. I felt. I was happy.
Bonding time does not have to be about the exchange of serious and profound words. It can be shared laughter. It can even be shared silence. It’s just about being together and not shunning the presence of the other. It doesn’t have to be planned ahead or well thought out. In fact, sometimes, the best bonding time just happens unexpectedly, spontaneously. With or without a dog. :)