Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

Father's Day. Blah. I know that's not very nice. I did get my husband a gift and cards and got up with the boys this morning and let him sleep in.  Also, the dog decided, as he oft will on holiday type of days, to shit on the rug in the basement.  So, with respect to Father's Day, I cleaned it up.  I should add we went out last night and I was running on about five hours sleep and may have been a tad hungover, so cleaning up doggy diarrhea was a huge feat and show of love for my husband.

I attempted to call my Dad tonight. He wasn't home.  He likely does not even realize what today is. He's not good with dates. In recent years I called him to with him a Happy Birthday on his birthday and he was not even aware that's what day it was.  He keeps birthdays written down and in the last couple of years has really improved on remembering them.

My Dad and I aren't close.  We now, at this point, have a sort of mutual respect for each other.  On my part it's bred out of the realization he is my dad, he was there for my younger days and does the best I think he can at this point.  There's not a lot of give and take between us.  We see each other once every couple of years. He's seen my youngest child maybe twice and the second one not much more.  At this point, that's okay.  I'm not into forcing relationships and as it stands our kids do fine with this set up, so good enough.

When I was 12 I found out my Dad is not actually my biological 'father'.  Because, at that point, I had decided I was not a fan of my Dad, and I had some help with this, I was thrilled. I imagined 'father' as a rich man coming along to save me from the depths of despair in my trailer in Elstow.  The funny part is it never dawned on me there was any difference in parentage between myself and my siblings despite the fact they are both very Caucasian looking and I had a year round tan.  My 'father' is from El Salvador.  Anyway, he and I finally spoke when I was 18 and met in my early 20s.  He is not rich. He is not poor.  He did not save me and I don't want him to.  When I separated from my first husband, he chose at that time, to separate from me.  He is a very traditional Catholic Latino man.  Our one face to face meeting included him speaking to my husband in front of me as if I weren't there and looking alarmed every time I voiced any opinion.  I have lots of opinions.  So not necessarily a match  made in Heaven.

I've had bad luck across the board in this department.  My Dad didn't come to my Grade 12 Graduation because he had a flying fishing trip booked.  A-hole.  My Graduation, I felt, was particularly significant given I had given birth during the second half of Grade 11, raised my son, sometimes on my own when his dad was away at school, and managed to maintain an average of above 90% for all four semesters of Grade 12.  When the fish are biting, you've gotta do what you gotta do I guess. 

Then came my University Convocation.  He had a cold.  Couldn't make it.  That one, that one I could not let go.  So I got half-cranked on wine one night and called him to share my thoughts and feelings on this.  Again it may be prudent to add I am the first person on either side of the family to earn a University Degree but the event was pretty low-key.  Which is probably why I will nearly kill myself making my children's various graduations and coming-of-age events into actual events full of fanfare, balloons and cake.  It's why I'm the lunatic mother on the the sidelines of the soccer field, football field, volleyball court and soon, the ice, cheering to the point where they may have suggested I should tone it down.  Actually my daughter's actual words were: "I can't hear the coach over you yelling 'Stay with it!'". 

This is a self-serving, slightly self-pitying little diatribe so I will end on a more positive note.  If there is anyone, besides my husband, I want to wish a Happy Father's Day to, but can't anymore, it's my Grandpa.  He is the first man who made me feel like the most special person in the world.  As a child (and maybe still now, truth be told) I had a really hard time saying the words 'I love you' out loud. Like I didn't say it. Ever.  Unless I was leaving him. Then I mustered up every bit of wherewithal I had to make sure I told him I loved him before leaving.  I loved him very much.  He's been gone for over ten years now and I still think about him all the time.  I think about him when I'm feeling proud of myself and/or my children and I think about him when I'm not proud of myself because I always always wanted to make him proud of me.  He was a quiet man with an unbelievable sense of humour.  He may have liked a drink or two as well.  What matters is though, is I always knew he liked me. I knew I mattered to him.  Last summer we sort of accidentally drove past the road leading to 'his' cemetery.  I haven't been back since the day he was buried.  We didn't stop that day because I felt my family didn't need to see my fall apart but I unsuccesfully fought back tears in the vehicle knowing I was that close to him.  I need to go back. But when I do it will be with a beer for him, a beer for me, some Sen-Sen and the song Coca-Cola Cowboy.

Happy Father's Day.

1 comment:

  1. I had the same type of experience with my scottish Granny. She created only happy memories of my childhood and I miss her more than my parents! I will always be grateful to have had her in my life, and Ashley was named after her (middle name). These kinds of people are rare, and we are so lucky to have them as grandparents indeed!
    So celebrate away! That is what I do! My parents did not celebrate me either! I guess that is why we were the only old folks on that darn dino bouncer!
    p.s. sorry about the dog poop...