Here in the US, it’s Father’s Day this weekend. I won’t be able to tell my dad how much he means to me on Sunday, so, I thought I’d make an attempt to do so, here.
You’ve always believed in me, Dad. Even when, and especially when, I didn’t believe in myself.
I thank you for that. For your wisdom, your kindness and patience (ohmygod your patience), humor, love of jokes and swears, and for always knowing that I can do anything, even during the minutes and months when I felt like I could do nothing.
We’ve had magical days, and we’ve had less than magical ones, too. The following are some of the days that I remember.
I’m not sure where we were going, or coming from, but we were in your car, just the two of us. It was a rare treat to have you to myself. I was in third grade, and asked you whether the boy in my class was correct in his definition of a blowjob. Being as I began young with my habit of not letting things go easily, I’m sure that listening to my eight-year-old disgust, horror, and words “B-bu-but WHY would anybody want to kiss a penis?” and “Does mom do that to your penis?” must have really sucked. Thanks for not driving off the road. Or dumping me on the side of it. It must have been tempting.
After Tommy had a mole removed, you came and got me from school. Prepared for news of a mole removal disaster, sure that something was horribly wrong because you came to get me out of school, you surprised us with Star Wars, knowing how disappointing it was that the theater was sold out over the previous weekend.
There was a day in sixth grade, when I got in trouble for passing a note in class. I was called into my teacher, Mrs. Haney’s office during recess. Instead of lecturing me on the import of paying attention and not passing notes, she asked me about being adopted.
She made me feel like a freak.
She was sure I’d never amount to anything.
Thanks for not agreeing with her, Dad. Thanks for calling the school and demanding justice. Were it not for your support, that bitch may have been right about me. It’s possible, and maybe even probable, that I’d have believed her.
She wasn’t right. You saw what she couldn’t.
You saw me.
It was through your eyes that I was able to see my good. Because you saw it, I saw my promise and potential.
Thank you for becoming my mom when Mom had had too much. Too much of life, too much of us. When she wanted to find her passion elsewhere. When she found it.
You stepped up to the plate.
You stepped up, and painted hard-to-find optimism with a broom, because you couldn’t find a fucking paintbrush. I’m sure that work, friends, life, and your identity suffered and sucked and took blow after blow. But you were there. You became Mommy. You were there and you made us remember that we mattered.
You made us matter. You made us important, when we felt abandoned.
You un-abandoned us.
When I was in high school, you noticed a hickey on my neck. You didn’t freak out. You didn’t give me the ickiest of icky sex and disease talks. It must have killed you a little bit, but you simply suggested that it was time for birth control.
You rocked for that, Dad.
You rocked for a lot.
You’re a wonderful and amazing dad. The best.
Thank you, too, for:
…showing me the power of words. And for teaching me the wisdom of practicing silence.
…knowing that breaking up with the wrongboys still hurt. A lot. For never saying out loud how wrong they were. You were right. I could do better. I did do better.
…for forgiving me every single time I fucked up.
…for helping me out, after my divorce. After my job ended. After my landlord died and I had to move back into your home. After my fight with my my best friend. After my car broke down. After I broke down.
…for all of the times that you held hope in your heart, when give-upness and frustration shouldhave couldhave won.
…for buying us that crappy car. While I hated the crappiness of it at the time, you knew we’d mess it up. We messed it up. And stayed safe, anyway.
…for seeing the magic and brilliance in my little boy. For knowing that he’s fine and perfect, exactly as he is.
…for believing that I can be anything.
That I can be everything I want to be.
That so can Tucker, and that so can you.
That so can all of us.
You make the world better. I am so very lucky to be your daughter. Yesterday, today, tomorrow.
Thank you for all of the days, Dad. Thank you for you.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. The sentence is “Dear Dad.”