The husband here to give you his thoughts on the matter at hand. As this is my first blog post here let me introduce myself. Here is what you need to know: teacher, artist, father, son, husband, ordinary guy. I am not a writer by trade but when Amy asked me to contribute to this blog I thought..."what the hell, could be fun," so here I am, writing on the blog on what fills my mind in the moment and trying to decide if I want Amy to edit my words for grammar or if I am hoping she will let it be. I suppose only time will tell. Either way, lets get started.
Fathers Day. A day to honor the hard work that our fathers do in order to support (financially, spiritually, emotionally and all those other "ly" words) our families. I have a difficult time with this day. Always have. And in the spirit of "THIS BEAUTIFUL MESS" let me give you some insight to my personal mess.
My dad was an absentee father. He still doesn't have a lot of presence in our lives. Long story short (dear Lord help me keep it short) he left when I was 13 (my brother a mere 7) and was separated from us for 3 years where we would see him every other weekend before he decided to actually file the divorce paperwork. During this time I remember more of my dad getting drunk while watching old movies and passing out on the couch.
After my parents both moved on I remember this time when my dad's new wife made an insulting remark about my mom. If you knew me and my dad you know this is an act that cannot go unchallenged. You just do not do that. So, (in keeping with the short story) I wrote a letter. 18 years old and I wrote a very strongly worded letter to my fathers wife calling her out on her lack of respect towards my mother. My dad sided with the wife. I wasn't allowed in the house after that. Sure they showed up to my high school graduation but the phone calls stopped and I was forever (at least it felt like forever) cut off from my dad.
Hard to celebrate a holiday dedicated to fathers when your own was pretty much absent most of your life. But I'm not going to leave you with this funk of depression hanging over your head. Couldn't do that now could I?
When Amy told me I was going to be a father for the first time I freaked out. I'm not talking that TV show freak out that we all know and love. You know the one where the mother says "I'm pregnant" and then the father to be sits there in stunned silence trying to figure out how this sort of thing could happen while the audience is left to assume he spent a minimum of 3 days in said silence. You know, that one.
Sure, I was stunned but we had talked about trying to have kids for...well, about a month. But over the course of 9 months my stunned silence was focused on things like, my dad passed out on the couch or taking the wrestling matches way too far. How was a supposed to be a good father when mine was absent?
Don't get me wrong, I know I'm not alone in this. Not once have I ever thought that I am the only one having to deal with this sort of thing. In this day in age we live in a society where more and more sons are learning how to be a man from mothers or other father figures who are not our dads so I know I'm not alone here. I (and those like me) spend our days facing the reality that just because you're a father doesn't mean you're a good one.
There's the mess. And here is the beautiful. It doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter. I look at my three kids and I see the adoration in their eyes. Even when I don't deserve it. I see the look of joy on my daughters face when I go to her dance recital dress rehearsal or my son's constant presence by my side simply because I am daddy. There is a movie that we like to watch that I think puts it best. At the end of the movie the daughter hands her dad his first grandson and says, "You've taught us that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. But there are a million ways to be a really great one."
I know I still make mistakes, but hey, who doesn't? Sure does make a beautiful mess though.
Happy Fathers Day 2015 to all of those really great dads out there.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.