Those of you who know me know that my dad and I have had our ups and downs.
I’m not good at math, but I’d say the downs outweighed the ups.
This photo is from my dark, bitchy, melodramatic, bad dye job, Goth teen years–and, well, you can judge for yourself.
Truth be told, it’s not particularly easy for me to even find the right Father’s Day card for him.
He left mom and me when I was 2, and returned when I was 8.
I watched my parents get remarried, a simple wedding in a friend’s living room, with ugly paper wedding bells and a homemade cake.
And I cried.
My mother’s friends told me I was too young to understand that sometimes we cry when we’re happy, and I was too young to tell them that they were full of shit. That their ugly paper wedding bells didn’t change my sense of betrayal.
After all, as an only child, I’d been the man of the house for all the years my dad was gone. At age 7, I’d made my own dinner when mom worked late, I’d walked a mile to and from school, I’d held her when she cried.
Then he came back and it all seemed forgotten.
Funny thing is, this year for Father’s Day, I bought him a HurryCane. You’ve seen the ads on TV. They’re the canes that stand up on their own, and can be disassembled and put in a pouch for easy travel. It is now much easier for him to get around. I also bought him an England jersey. So he can take his cane and support his favorite team at his local English pub in Florida for the World Cup. Just talked to my mom and they are headed there for lunch. (And he’s already complained that the shirt hasn’t worked, seeing as how England lost to Italy yesterday.)
So oddly enough, I feel as though I have reclaimed my childhood status in some weird way. Not as man of the house. But something close to it. Some status that has no name but that I always knew I’d settle into.
Happy Father’s Day, dad.