Monday, June 18, 2012

Day of the Dads

As it was Father's Day yesterday I didn't concern myself with writing a post; which I normally don't do on the weekends anyway.  Sorry readers, I love you  but the weekends I prefer to spend facing my children and not my computer - here at work on a Monday it's a different story.  Anyway, it was Father's Day.  This, like Christmas, is a day that has evolved dramatically over the past decades in what it means to me and how it is received.  Long story short, Christmas morning was the day my dad announced - screamed violently is more accurate - that he wanted a divorce from my mom.  So that holiday has been bumpy ever since.  Well, later that year, after his wishes had come to pass and we'd recently moved out, somehow my sisters "slighted him" at my high school graduation and he left quite possibly the most threatening and hateful message on our answering machine that I had ever heard.  This was 2 days before Father's Day.  Naturally when Sunday rolled around my sisters (14 and 15 at the time) weren't too keen on going over to his house (which at this point was our old house devoid of furniture which he refused to move out of or cooperate with the sale of).  So I went alone.  This was the last real conversation I'd have with my father.  It escalated from verbal combat in to a full physical confrontation which ended with my ejection from the house and the complete dissolution of my relationship with my father.  In the 12 years since I've seen him twice: once on a freeway in rush hour where I kept my window rolled up while he yelled at me from a nearby lane; once after he survived the Thailand tsunami and came back stateside for some medical things - yes, he now lives in Thailand and actually was in that event and I felt really bad cause his leg got all mangled up as a result so I agreed to have dinner with him so he could meet Gina. ... after this encounter she told me she never wanted to see that man again; that's how well it went.  So that's my dad.  I don't really remember any specific Father's Days prior to 12 years ago because I never really felt like celebrating the man.  The image of a Father was very distorted for me and the concept of the dangerous power such a man held over a young child just left a bad taste in my mouth.  I always wanted to be a dad but I was also always in fear that I'd be just like him. ... something I couldn't live with had it come true.  But October 20th, 2009 rolled around.  On that day I held my little girls for the first time.  On that day I couldn't be pried from their sides in the nursery.  On that day I realized something magnificent. ... I am not my father.  I am not the same man.  I hold the key to that power and I have the understanding of it's potential; for good and for evil.  I'm kind of like Spiderman: with great power comes great responsibility. ... and I get that.  I made a promise then that I would be a dad worthy of a day.  So I relished yesterday.  Yes the brunch was nice; the golf lessons are duly needed.  But more importantly, my daughters wanted to celebrate me.  I earned my day.

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