When I called my father this morning and asked what the family’s plans were for the day he declared, “Nothing. Just the kind of celebration I like.” As I’ve grown older the vocabularies my father and I use to express ourselves have diverged almost violently, to the point that communication feels at times as if it hinges on interpreting body language or worse, minute changes in karmic energy. This is not to say that we don’t get along, or that we have nothing in common. On the contrary, I find that as I come to better understand my father outside the narrow confines of Parenthood, certain fundamental similarities unexpectedly emerge. He recently took up pottery, a hobby he apparently had years ago that’s been resuscitated thanks to the ennui of retirement. Seeing him at work in his studio is seeing him so many odd years ago, before he became a computer scientist and before I knew him almost solely in the context of He Who Provides An Alternative To Pasta On Weekends (my mother, bless her, is not the cook of the family). My father may not be able to correctly pronounce our last name or know the importance of color-coordinated linens, but he knows a thing or two beyond what I imagined he may have picked up in his lifetime. And now, I see that.