Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day is a Long Day


It's been a long day.
Sometimes that sentence holds more meaning for me than I ever thought it would, when I heard adults throw it around at us kids, using as an excuse to not play Barbies when my mother got home from work, or to feed us Pizza Hut instead of cooking for the second night in a row.
I know now what a person might really mean when they say it's been a long day.
Sometimes they mean that they're exhausted.
That they are tired from the inside out.
Sometimes they mean that today was a day they weren't sure they were ever going to get through when they were in the middle of it, and now that they're in the home stretch they just want to kiss it goodbye as soon as possible.
Sometimes they mean that they hate themselves for how tired they feel.
They feel guilty for wanting today to be over so quickly, because today was supposed to be a special day for someone that they're supposed to love.
And it's not that they don't love the person they're supposed to, it's just that maybe they're supposed to have loved them better, especially on a day like today, but they just couldn't find the energy to do it, and now they wish they had.
Sometimes it means that love wears us out, and responsibility and obligation make us weary, and in the noise of all of that it's easier than we'd like to lose sight of what we know is true:
Today was a gift.
We're lucky to have people we love around us at all.
Some day we'll be all out of Father's Days to celebrate with our dads, and we'll wish that we had done these ones better.
Now that I'm home, in my air conditioned house with the lights off and some candles lit and the smell of home made black bean nachos swirling in the kitchen, I wonder why today was so hard.
I don't really know why this day is always such a struggle for us, my father and I.
I don't really know why it never works out the way I swear every year that it will this time.
I do know all the little ways in which this day tests me and hurts me and infuriates me and exhausts me, but I also know I love my father too much to write it all out for the world to see.
To make our weaknesses and dysfunctions live in infamy forever.
I just wish that for once it would go better.
I wish for once that it wouldn't hurt as badly as it always does.
I wish I knew I had plenty more Father's Days left to figure it all out.
But I don't know how many I have left.
How many he has left.

I guess in the end, the good news is, no matter how damaged or flawed he is, no matter how scarred and imperfect he left me, I know my father loves me.

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