In terms of relatives, Mimi has been blessed. She is surrounded by cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends who love her. And those who are far away, like Obachan and Ojichan, call often. She has even had the chance to meet two of her great grandparents.
But blessed as she is, there is still a big hole in her life when it comes to relatives - one she doesn't know about just yet. Mimi came just a little late to meet her paternal grandfather - my dad, Dave. He saw me take my first real step into adulthood - passing away not long after attending my wedding in New York - but he simply could not hold out to see me become a father. I know it pained him at the end, recognizing that he wouldn't be there for my children. It pains me, too, particularly on days like today, when Mimi and I embark on adventures like those I shared with my Dad, and especially when I catch glimpses of him in her along the way.
My father, like his father before him and his son who followed, was a bit of a collector, a bit of a scavenger, and a bit of a romantic when it came to the hunt: tearing through the castoffs of society for jewels inadvertently left behind. Love of the old, the out-of-date, the "why would you want this?" has always been in me - particularly when it comes to cars, toys, and stereo equipment - but I wasn't sure if it would translate to Mimi? While the jury is still out, it does seem that there's hope that I may have a scavenger in training.
Today, with Mama on call and Mimi and I seeking adventure, we decided to throw potty-training caution to the wind and take a trip to Urban Ore, an architectural salvage service in Berkeley. In essence, it is a massive warehouse piled high with doors, windows, cabinets, old stoves, sinks, toilets - the detritus of hundreds of home demolitions. To me, it is a playground. And to Mimi? Well, not quite a playground, but it was a lot of fun.
We arrived at the warehouse around 10:00am. Mimi - who insisted on wearing her yellow galoshes and carrying her completely naked baby - was ready for action.