Tag Archives: love

Father’s Day, 2013

Emile in a swingLike many people, I have mixed feelings about Father’s Day. Sure, there are lots of tweets and Facebook posts that go something like “to all the Dad’s [sic] out there,” obliterating that actually, there are better and worse examples of those who parent from the masculine zones of gender. A few years ago I joked with at least four other individuals in the room that we should start a “I Had a Shitty Father” club. We could emboss t-shirts and stamp out buttons and make zines. Why not turn personal trauma and angst into fun? Misery loves a good zine. But there are definitely moments I shared with my father that I carry with me today, like the Sundays after church when he and I would feed the ducks at the local pond (we didn’t know in the 1970s that it was bad for the ecology of it all), or his love of bygone music, or the thoughtful way he’d lay out my cereal choices in the morning before school, with the newspaper opened up to the comics section. I think I got a better dad than he shared with his older kids, and I do appreciate that.

These days I chase after a little boy reminding him to be careful when climbing on the tippy ottoman. Or the big steps that lead to our front door. Or the strangely busy residential road where we live. I was picking smashed raisins out of the one tiny carpet we own at some point last week when a wave of giggles hit me. This is full circle. I’m sure my mother had to pull all kinds of detritus out of the flooring when I stamped it on the linoleum, or shag-covered stairwell, and so on.  Read More…

A Better Dad Letter

Dear Child of Mine,

I have loved you since the moment I saw you pass before my eyes, right before the doctor placed you on your mother’s chest. In truth, I loved you before then, and since we’re on the subject, I would say I was in deep, deep like with the very possibility of you, but certainly having the actual you around is much better.

I read a horrible letter the other day from a father who was cutting ties with his son only because his child had asserted he was gay. I’ve known people like this, who wielded their ignorance against their own families, and yes, it is astonishing how human beings can revolt against their own kin. But it does remind me that this is why we have chosen families, dear confidants, and supportive systems of loved ones that may or may not share DNA with us.

That man is misguided. It’s clear to me after only 11 months of knowing you, that my mission as your parent is to help you grow into the best person you can be, and I ought not attempt to control who you become–it’s folly, for one thing, and mean to boot. Yes, I should expose you to ideas, talk with you as you sort through your place in the world and what to make of this great big mess, and tell you I love you, but your path is your own. If you tell me tomorrow that you want to be known as Priscilla Queen of Splendiferousness, I’ll simply be astonished that you’re talking this soon. I won’t worry that it’s because we dressed you up like Liberace for Halloween last year–you did look fabulous, by the way. Read More…

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