Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day

I'd definitely dress up and go out in public with my kids. I hope my husband has that same attitude.

Mother's day and Father's day have always been funny holidays to me.
And by funny I mean mostly stressful, usually depressing and disappointing, seemingly pointless things.
I am, however, a faithful holiday celebrator. 
I love every single day between October 1st and January 2nd. I am a die hard Valentine's day supporter. 
Easter sucks, but I still do all the stupid traditions because TRADITIONS MATTER DAMN IT.
So, every year, when father's day rolls around, I try to be hopeful.

This year, instead of bitching about how explosive father's day usually is between my dad and I, I figured I would go the other way, and try to genuinely get in the spirit.

I grew up with a dad who was entirely complicated.
He was mean, selfish, neglectful, and emotionally abusive, and at the same time savored family tradition, and gave great advice on hair styles. 
It was neat.

When I had Lainie, I had genuine hopes that her father would turn out to be a good dad. At the time I wasn't 100% sure what my definition of a good dad was - the best I could probably describe it as was "nice to kids, has a job" - but I was still hopeful.

Things didn't really turn out that way though.
But then I had Jack...
And that didn't really go much better.

This may sound weird, but I would honestly tell anyone I know that the first person I ever met who I would describe as a great dad, was Bill.
It's a cheesy, trite, played out thing to say, but when you're with a man who is genuinely a good father, it makes you even more attracted to them, and on this whole other level too, that's really hard for other guys to compete with.
Bill wasn't just a good dad to his own kids, he was always kind, generous, and respectful with my own children, and never made them feel out of place in his home.

Watching the way he parented made me realize that there was this whole other kind of 'dad' out there.

Dads who know how to cook, and know all their kids favorite foods.
Dads who drive crabby, tired, ungrateful kids to and from countless events, practices, recitals, appointments, even when it means missing work, time alone, or time with their friends.
Dads who wanted to get up in the middle of the night with the crying baby, because he loved rocking her back to sleep so much he still talks about it, 17 years later.
Dads who never refer to spending time with their own children as "babysitting". 
Dads who go to the corner store at 2 am for baby Tylenol without complaining, who change diapers for you while you're in the middle of something, who talk to kids like they're human beings who deserve kindness and respect.
Dads who put up with stupid teenage-daughter-drama and still tell her he loves her before she goes to bed and when they get off the phone, every single time. 

Dads who show up.
Every time, no matter what, even when you tell them not to.

Here's to those dads.

Happy Father's day.

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