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.