Father’s Day is bittersweet for me.
I’ve never been close to my father, but I have a great Dad. I have two great dads, from different walks of my life. My natural father isn’t someone that I always understand, even though I can’t help myself from loving him and wanting him to love me. And I have a “dad” that is, admittedly, a great man and would do anything for me, but holds the old-school-hardline-tough-love stance on fatherhood. He’s great.
Father’s Day is a wonderful day. Make sure you are celebrating your accomplishments spent in time and energy with your child. Any man can be a sperm donor. Any man can have intercourse, successfully inseminate someone and be the DNA that some child shares. Not everyone worries, prays, cries, tries, sacrifices, and gives of themselves to their children. Don’t lose the trust that your child has in you. Trust me, once you do, it’s nearly impossible to get back.
We never forget. We don’t forget broken promises, even if you had “good reasons” in that moment – even if your boss is hard on you. We only see that you missed our piano recital. We notice every time you seem embarrassed of us. No, we can’t play sports that well, but we sang every Sunday in church and could pray the paint off of a wall. We weren’t the ladies’ man you were, but we did pick up the spiritual baggage you left us and have to fight against using people for physical comfort and have a daily vigil against building walls against people. But we never forget the good either, that’s why we always get hungry for more. We hang on every look of pride; we hang on every word of encouragement. It ruins us for male authority figures and wreaks havoc in our relationships because we are always seeking some kind of approval from someone that could take us or leave us. Someone that loved us, but somehow that love was either too much, not enough, or caused enough hurt that we backed away.
I have a great man that loves my mother, and works with me – as I am – to make our family work. I love him for that. Plus, he ended up making one of my favorite friends a sister to me. I am grateful for that. His example is what made my heart soft towards male authority and father figures again - soft towards my Father, and THE Father. I always hated God as the Father because I couldn’t comprehend a Father’s love being “good.” I’m grateful I witnessed that, and have now experienced that – even if it was later in my life and after years of wondering and wandering. My Dad is who gives me hope that one day I can make amends and have some type of relationship with my father. He already gave me hope about my Father.