Sunday, June 16, 2013
Today is one of those days that social media kicks your ass. Smiling faces of fathers beaming out of pictures with their children, grandchildren, exotic locales, dinner tables, weddings, you name it. I know there are a million stories behind those smiles, not all of them pleasant and certainly not all of them oft repeated in family conversations, but they are there, those fathers who still get to hug children and cook steaks and dance that awkward dad dance when they've had too much scotch.
After the great loss of 1987, I used to call my mom on Father's Day, just to be funny and say thanks for shoring up the ship on both sides. My mom was a helluva single mom, although calling her that seems weird given she had the means to raise children without financial panic. But digging deeper, I realize that being a single mom means much more than financial security. It was her going it alone, dealing with children who weren't easy to manage in a life too lonely sometimes. Single parenthood was more about relying on the network of friends who loved her dearly for moment of confiding and support. It was about being the rock for four kids who were navigating the terrain of being fatherless far earlier than they ever meant to be. She was dad and mom in one, Suz Hard as Nails. And a damn good both at that.
My children delight in their father, an amazing man whose gift for parenting is something he inherited from his own father and from whom I hope my son will learn. This is a day for recognizing that, rather than sitting afloat in the unanchored waters of a parentless life.