Saw my father this weekend. The way he talks about his (academic) interests makes me wonder why I haven't been spending all my time studying the same things it's just so fascinating. We ate expensively, enjoyed some tea. He put us up for the night as we couldn't get home, then on Sunday morning we walked with him through town - he is rather unsteady with his walking stick and the snow has frozen. Every time I see him I sadly wonder if it's the last time.
When I was young he was a rather different sort of creature. As if every little inconvenience and imagined slight were the last straw in a world of distractions pressing in on his life, tipping him into fury. Al this nonsense happening to me!!! A very difficult, not seemingly happy man, the side his kids saw of him, though by all accounts he led a pretty full life in those days, if you see what I mean.
Yet watch the family together all his (5) children will be competing to try and show off how clever they are in front of him (I mean they do anyway but all the more so if he's there). I try not to do that, but sometimes I probably show off a bit. It happens when your shared preferences in conversation are to do with learning and discovery. Complex people :)