The Smile

Semina's Past



Friday, October 27, 2006

When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted.
Frederick Franck

Semina and her Mother were on the bus that would take them to their new home.
Semina’s Grandparents had just moved to a new house that Semina’s Grandfather and Uncle built for them. It is a very big house, Semina has been there before and likes it very much. She is very happy that her Grandfather’s shop, garden, and chickens are still in the same place, next to the house where Semina was born.
“I know you will miss your toys Semina, you will have tem when you visit your Father” Semina’s Mother then told her that she would see her Father every weekend.
Semina smiled and felt happy that she would see her Father on the weekends and that she could play with her toys, she did not know about this before.
Semina and her Mother arrived an hour later at her Grandparents house. Her Grandmother gave Semina a big hug and kissed her all over her face. This made Semina laugh because it tickled.
Her Grandfather pretended to take her nose and then put it back.
They had hot chocolate with whipped cream, open faced sandwiches, cookies and cakes. It was like Christmas, but it was May and Mother’s Day.
Semina went to bed happy and sad at the same time. Happy that she would see her Father on the weekend and sad that they were no longer a family.
The days grew longer, Semina and her cousins could play outside well into the evening because it did not get dark.
Some of her cousins live down stairs in her Grandparents big house. Semina and her Mother have a big room, upstairs where her Grandparents live.
There were other cousins and their parents also living in the house and many cousins that live just a few houses away from her Grandparents house. For the first time Semina did not play her lonely games all by herself. Semina and her cousins put on plays. Semina was the director, writer and the lead in all the plays, because her Mother was an actress. Semina was always careful to give everybody a good role, because if she didn’t her cousins would get angry with her and call her spoiled. All her cousins had sisters and brothers, Semina was the only one that was an only child, that is why they said she was spoiled. Semina would have loved to have an older brother and she thought her cousins were lucky not to be only children.
All the adults would come to see their plays. Their Grandparent’s living room was right next to the dining room and in the opening between them is where, the curtain made out of a bed sheet, would be hung up by their Grandfather. The adults sat on chairs in the dining room and smiled a lot while their children put on the play for them. Semina sometimes though they were silly because they even smiled when the play was very, very sad. Sometimes the laughed in the wrong places, Semina would have to talk to her Mother about this. Maybe she can tell them when the play is sad and when it is funny.
Another thing the cousins liked to do is to make pictures. Semina was very good at drawing because she had so much practice. Her cousins sometime would tell her that her drawing was no good, but Semina knew they were wrong. One of her cousins always asked Semina how she liked her drawing and Semina always told her it was very good and that some day she will be a famous artist, this Semina knew in her heart. Semina also knew that her cousins drawings were much better than her own.
The cousins played cards, sang songs together, played ball, hopscotch and many, many other games. It was a happy time with many people and on the weekends Semina went to the city to see her Father.

The first weekend was not a good time her Father had put all her toys and her Mother’s things in big boxes and put them up on a high shelf in the cellar. Semina asked her Father if she could play with her toys. Her Father told her he would get them later, he told her this every weekend.
Semina did not see her Father much when she went to visit. He took Semina to her Aunt and Uncles house to play with Greta and said he would be back. He came back the next day to take her to the bus. Semina had to sleep in Greta’s room.
Sometimes he took her to her other Uncles house, so that she could play with her cousin Eric.
Semina’s Aunt would sometimes let her sleep in her house, there Semina had to play her lonely games all by herself. Her Aunt’s children were grown and did not live there.
Her Aunt had beautiful dolls in pretty dresses, Semina was allowed to go into her Aunts room to look at them. The dolls were on the top of a very high cabinet and Semina had to stand on her toes to get a good look at them, her Aunt told her she could not touch them. Semina had the same Birthday as her Aunt and that made her Aunt very happy. Once time she made a dress for Semina’s doll. Semina liked the dress that her doll had before, better, but she was afraid to tell her Aunt, and it would not have been good manners. Semina's Mother always told her to have good manners.
Her Aunt had many puzzles that Semina was allowed to play with, if she was careful not to loose any of the pieces and to put all the pieces back carefully in the box. Semina tried to be very quiet and to have good table manners, because her Aunt did not like noisy children or children that did not have good table manners. Semina was always very happy when her Father came back to her Aunts house to take her to the bus. Semina’s Father never forgot to take her to the bus, he always came back to the places Semina was to do that.
Semina’s Mother would always ask her what she did over the weekend. Semina told her Mother everything she did with her relatives. Some things she did not tell her Mother, she did not lie she just did not tell.
One weekend Semina stayed the whole time with her Father. She sat at the big desk and tried to draw her pictures, she felt lonely and sad.
Her Father took her to a place where he has his dinner. There were many people having dinner there. Many men who were telling jokes and saying things that Semina did not understand.
There was a lady who made the dinners, her Father told her that she was the owner of the place. Her Father went to the kitchen and helped the lady stir things. Semina saw her Father smile a special smile at the lady. One time when Semina walked into the kitchen her Father had his arm around the lady and when he saw Semina he quickly put his arms down and smiled at Semina.
Semina smiled back with a little shy smile. Why did her Father have his arm around this lady, that Semina did not know?

Smiled by Semina :: 1:17 PM :: 9 smiles

Get the smile...


At Friday, October 27, 2006 2:25:00 PM, Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

It is beyond mind boggling to me how so many men are so easily without feeling for their children... the closest thing I have ever had to seeing what a father is firsthand is by observing Loverboy with the children... he is by all means a modern man, mostly the one who cooks and feeds them and he is never asked to do so but he simply sees them as his responsibility, equal responsibility at that, and I can very easily speak for him and say that those little people are his very breath... and to see that has been very strange seeing that I was abandoned by two fathers, a biological one and a step father...

Not saying it in a boohoo poor me victim way... but all that to say I can completely understand what you went through...

My biological father, once he left Iran and was in Spain, lived a distance of LA - SF from us and never came to visit, not once. He chose instead to cry his life away, living a life of regret but never doing anything about anything, thinking that this "suffering" of his made the playing field even as he and my mom toyed with our emotions... but the thing is his suffering was self-inflicted and, in my mind, worthless to me.

When I saw him a couple of weeks ago, I felt nothing... nothing. In spite of what I write about my mother and the anger that comes through, I know there are feelings there and bottomline, in spite of her abusive ways, she did what she could in her own way and that is still, somehow, to be admired and respected... he was not there. I did not grow up with him. It is as though you were to grab a stranger off the street and tell me to call him daddy... not gonna happen...

So much talk... I am going off on too many tangents it seems! But yes, I understand Semina, not these fathers, and honestly, I have no compassion for them at all... bottomline, if you truly want something you go after it and if no true effort is made, then... their loss but unfortunately, children are the unwilling and undeserving casualties and I am sorry you had to live through such heartbreak and I am so happy you are letting it all out here... yes, not doing so can make you sick so in light of this release, here's to much health and beauty for you always sweet Semina!

At Friday, October 27, 2006 7:53:00 PM, Blogger Semina said...

My dear, dear MizBohemia I knew from the start that we are kindred souls ~ although we are ~ what 26 years apart.
Semina has been lucky that her Step-Father has been a wonderful Father to her. He was and is her savior.
LoverBoy, my Step-Father and my Husband are good examples of how men should Father~ I am proud of them all. I pitty the ones who had and have not learned how to Father their Children. They along with us are the ones that missed out. Do I have pitty? ~ Sometimes ~ my Father was weak and wallowed in pitty, however, sometime I try to see things from his side. He died 20 years ago, too bad that I did not have the maturity that I have now and was never able to ask him how he felt and why he did the things he did.
It strikes me that our Fathers had many of the same characteristics ~ more is the pitty for them, not for us, we are both strong women, women who have surpassed them, in every way.
I have the luxury of time, to reflect ~ sadly it did not come earlier. I have had a good life, however, there has always been a hole in my heart for the things that never were and for the country I left behind.
My lovely MizBohemia, you are a part of my journey of healing, I shall forever be grateful to you for that ~ your courage is my beacon.

At Monday, October 30, 2006 4:13:00 AM, Blogger Mama E said...

I too had cousins and we did plays together, too! I being the baby never got to direct, however! My cousins were among the people who kept me safe and sane and taught me right from wrong and I loved them for doing that. More stories about that to come, too. I love the simmering passion that measures your words. There's a rhythm that makes me smile as it comes out and my heart just opens to Semina and
I smile as I read. Yummy, MamaE

At Monday, October 30, 2006 2:52:00 PM, Anonymous neva said...

beautiful, and more than a little insightful, eh? my own dear father died when i was very young (7) and my mother was left to care for 3 daughters. fortunately, she met and married my wonderful stepfather over 40 years ago--which turned out to be a beautiful blessing for us all. at 87, he continues to be a tremendous source of strength, support, and inspiration to me.

my ex-husband was also flawed, or at least not the parent i hoped he'd be to our sons... he's doing better now that they're older (both in their 20's), which, i suppose, is better than nothing. that said, my wonderful and loving husband, Joel, has been an amazing, generous, and nurturing role-model for them for over 21 years. again, i feel so blessed. all men are created equal? i don't think so.

i'm sorry you had to find out the truth about your own father at such a tender age. and i admire you more than i can say for allowing yourself to be happy, despite that tiny hole in your heart.

thank you for so beautifully sharing this difficult chapter in your life, Semina... can't wait to read more! xox

At Tuesday, October 31, 2006 10:09:00 AM, Blogger Semina said...

Mama E ~ Thank you for coming over and for your nice compliment. My cousins are still a big part of my life, there are now 3000 miles between us, but we are all in touch with each other and some of us see each other two or three times each year.

Neva ~ Thank you Neva, it is so good to hear that you had and have good experience with your Step-Father. Our Step-Fathers and Joel prove that Parenting comes natually to some special men.
In the next episode Semina finds out what her Father is really like. I often wonder, what was he thinking

At Friday, November 03, 2006 3:00:00 PM, Blogger tsduff said...

As always, I love getting lost in your tales. Always a journey out of self and into somewhere else. We are all survivors, no matter what we deal with growing up. There is healing in passing on to adulthood if we allow it.

At Monday, November 06, 2006 9:27:00 AM, Blogger Semina said...

You make me smile Terry :} I am glad you like my tales.
We certainly are all survivors and if we do it right and have the right support, we can all become strong adults :}

At Tuesday, November 07, 2006 6:23:00 PM, Blogger Minka said...

Hmmm...I had a flashback of "little women" with the plays you put up :)

I have to agree with Miz B: as I do many a time :)
I have never known, met nor talked to my biological father. I hope that I will find the image of a fther figure when I am watching my husband watching his kids. I hope this day will come and I hope I will be ready for it and do well.

Thank you for this!

At Wednesday, November 08, 2006 10:15:00 AM, Blogger Semina said...

My dear Minka, that is my wish for you also. There are good men out there, that know how to Father, many of us were not that lucky, however, my luck changed later. You will see :}
Thank you Minka, maybe in some small way my story will help not only me, but in some small way other's. :}


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