Super [flawed]Man

Today is supposed to be a happy day. It’s for celebration. It’s marveling at the amazement that is biology and much more.

It’s a day to remember the great things about our dads and grandfathers and the men in our lives that shaped us to the people we are- whether present or not.

Today is a hard day.

I called my grandfather to wish him Happy Fathers Day from me and my little line of ducklings/spawns. To be honest, I’m not really 100% sure how he was when he was in dad mode. I feel that perhaps I need to ask my family and him more about that part of his life… to find the stories beyond the pictures.

I think about how my grandfather didn’t finish college or even high school. Of how hard he worked (and still does) because of that choice… the rebel choice. You would have thought that by watching his struggles that I might not have wanted to repeat in his hardships. I did, however, in my own ways.

In the machine message I left thanking grandpa I told him that he got the fun parts with us… especially as grandpa. My memories with my grandfather are full of him being the savior and smile and source of inspiration that, well, my parents could never completely fulfill. I think about how much he and my grandmother have shaped my life and brought with it such amazing color and inspiration that…

And then there’s my dad.

Once upon a time my dad was my hero. I was this little girl (watch it with the comments people) with pigtails and missing teeth. My father brought so much laughter and silliness and color into my world too- from my dad’s dedication to Halloween first and then Christmas, to comic books, to… reels of Three Stooges. What I’m not supposed to talk about is how much pain was inspired by him.

As I got older I saw more about the corporate suit with the stable job that loved to laugh and read comic books. I saw the harsh realities of how stubborn he could be… of where I probably get it from. And then I remembered a bit about the joking around with my grandfather about how stubborn he is. It’s so much easier to look at the flaws of your dad vs your grandfather.

I look at the other men that have followed my dad as far as male figures. There is a saying that every girl looks for her dad in the men they date. I have dated some very intelligent, very die hard to their beliefs, colorful and quirky… assholes.

Ethan is currently with my dad right now. His father figure was a ghost of a man. His father… was the colorful bit of lies and laughter. And it’s all my fault. Ethan being with my dad is partially my dad stepping in to try and assume the “hero” role.  It is the same role that my great grandmother did for him ages ago when my grandparents fought (more than the usual laughable kind they do) But were these people really heros or…

Enter Maddox and Sakura’s father- my ex husband- and how he’s probably sitting pretty high on that horse thinking he is the greatest guy in the world… who stole my children. He too, would like people to think he is the hero. And, once upon a time, exhibited that same amount of compassion and silliness that my dad and grandfather did.

And now Little Bear’s dad… Little Bear’s dad was probably the closest thing to my grandfather ever.  Joshie Bear was like looking at a younger version of my favorite male role model in the world… complete with his faults. Josh’s spirit and ease of getting along with people and making friends everywhere.. that silly cheesiness… was why I fell in love with him and why when I first found out about Little Bear, although the timing was not “perfect” I was… really really happy.   Joshie Bear always wanted to be a dad. He never got to be and it broke his heart more than I could comprehend despite some of my super harsh remarks about the whole thing.

I know that today is supposed to be for these men… but perhaps it could be for this wish too. My wish, as I thank each of them for the good they did, is to please remember the bad that their fathers did as well. It’s so easy to look at the hero parts but to truly get past all of that, we have to acknowledge where they were flawed too… so that our kids will know and hopefully not repeat the same actions.

To all the great and not so great men of my life who have made a dedication to the purpose of not just being a donor or the hero but to being a DAD… an unselfish compassionate one, I salute you.

One question

“How are you doing?” he asked me this morning.

It was daddy.  He beat me to calling.

My grandmother is in the hospital.  He had to fly home.  He’d told me yesterday morning.  He said I could go visit Ethan even if he wasn’t home.  She’d been there a couple of days and was about to be released when they said she needed to be transferred to another hospital for a heart operation.

“Why didn’t you tell me she was in the hospital?”

“I didn’t have time.”

“Daddy that may be your mother but that’s my grandmother.  You need to tell me if she’s sick do you hear me?”

Yesterday I kept myself busy.  I had to.  I was very worried.  My grandmother is the epicenter of my family.

The things I did to occupy my time?  Ironically were all things where I wanted to call her while doing:

  • my monthly self defense class.
  • a costume shop.
  • thrifting.
  • adventuring and finding places to sit with a notebook and dream.
  • watching an old movie in a graveyard (again).

My solstice was refreshing.  Two bottles of lambic, the company of friends and the best gift I ever got myself- that bike accompanied me and some watercolors as I headed out to Cinespia.

“Give me an eta on if you want to do something because I’m thinking about going to see the Graduate tonight with friends.” I told the grip.

“I don’t have one.  Just go with your friends then.”

“You always wait until the last minute to do anything.  You want me to commit to monogamy but you can’t even commit to a time to meet me.  I’m going.  Just meet me there.”

“That works.”

I met my friend out there and a couple of his friends.  They were disgusting adorable together and extremely nice.  My friend and I were like two left shoes leftover after a massive sale had wrecked the store.  It was disastrous.  Every little thing went wrong.

Traffic sucked.

I spilled beer on the blanket.

It took my friend 2.5 hours to get in.

Oh and I never saw the grip.

No text.

No phone call.


I messaged on the way home.  I called.  The hours rolled by and I heard nothing.

Around 3am I finally got a message.

“I was there. Phone was dead though.  So… yeah.  Tried to find you… no luck.”

I talked to my friend from the movie earlier.  We’d had a good time and have plans again later.  I hadn’t seen him in awhile.  It’s times like these where it’s just good to surround yourself with friends.

One day at a time.

One step.

One hope.

One heart.

I’ll get through it all.  I’ll weather this storm.

“How are you doing today?” he asked me this morning.

It was daddy, calling me from the hospital to update me on gram.

It was almost as if he knew.    “How am I?”  I didn’t know how to answer that.

“I’m fine dad.  How’s gram?”

“She’s going to be fine.  I need to tell you something though. It might not be a good idea for you to go visit Ethan today.  Your stepmother and I got into an argument before I left and I don’t want any problems for you.”

We talked some more.  About gram.  About gramps.  About different things going on here.

“I applied for a very important job this week dad.  Please send me some good vibes that I get it.”

“I will.  I want the best for you.”

“Daddy I’m trying so hard to make this all work… to get to that career.  I want to thank you for not just being Dad but being grandpa dad.  It means the world to me.  I’m sorry that you have to deal with problems with Bren.”

She doesn’t have a family.  She gets upset most everytime dad does something to help me.  I remember a weekend when my dad was changing the oil in the beast.

“Why is your father underneath a car right now getting his hands dirty?” she said as she interrupted my son and I playing some video games.

“Dad told me he’d change my oil. Why?”

“Your father is a corporate man.  He wears a suit.  He does not change oil in cars…”

“Well dad said he’d do it for me and I appreciate it.”

“He doesn’t do it for me.  Why don’t you pay someone to do it for you like I do?”

“I’m trying to spend some time with my son.  I rarely ask my dad for help with much.  I don’t live here.  I pay my own bills.  He’s helping me with one thing that will take 20 minutes.  Please drop the drama.  You’ll have to take it up with him.”

Dad got into an argument with her then too.

“She has to understand that there’s nothing that will come between me and my children.  She will not make drama for my daughter and her son.  She will not give me problems about my mother or she will be gone.  I don’t need a wife.  I will not tolerate that.”

Father’s Day.  June twenty first, two thousand nine.

“How are you doing today?” he asked me this morning.

It was the simplest thing but in one sentence it summed up so much more.  On a day that is supposed to be his he gave up everything for his family.  Because that’s what a real man does.  Because real men put the people they love above everything.  Because even when you’re a shithead, they bust their asses to make sure you know that they love you.

Thanks dad for always being there and for setting the bar so ridiculously high.