The troubled relationship between Steve Jobs and his daughter Lisa has been recounted before. Next month, though, Lisa Brennan-Jobs’ memoir ‘Small Fry’ will be released. The book is a first-person account of her childhood and the period leading up to Steve Jobs’ death in 2011. The Vanity Fair excerpt includes anecdotes of visits by Steve Jobs to Brennan-Jobs when she was a child:
We skated the neighborhood streets. Trees overhead made patterns of the light. Fuchsia dangled from bushes in yards, stamens below a bell of petals, like women in ball gowns with purple shoes. My father and mother had the same skates, a beige nubuck body with red laces crisscrossed over a double line of metal fasts. As we passed bushes in other people’s yards, he pulled clumps of leaves off the stems, then dropped the fragments as we skated, making a line of ripped leaves behind us on the pavement like Hansel and Gretel. A few times, I felt his eyes on me; when I looked up, he looked away.
Later Brennan-Jobs sums up her relationship with her father:
I see now that we were at cross-purposes. For him, I was a blot on a spectacular ascent, as our story did not fit with the narrative of greatness and virtue he might have wanted for himself. My existence ruined his streak. For me, it was the opposite: the closer I was to him, the less I would feel ashamed; he was part of the world, and he would accelerate me into the light.
The entire excerpt is well worth reading because it provides a perspective on Jobs and his relationships with family that isn’t discussed often.