Sunday, June 15, 2014

Not A Typical Father's Day Post

I went to bed last night in the slough of despond. Do not ask me why. These things just happen.
I had all those horrible dreams. My house was huge and filled with stuff and rooms I'd forgotten I had, and one group of people after another descended upon me to stay for an undetermined time and I kept looking for more eggs to cook and the dishes piled up and up and up and there were two kitchens, both filled with the detritus of meals made to feed all of these people and bedclothes were wadded up everywhere and towels, too, and I was simply going insane.
Everyone was going to go out for a musical performance and they all looked so fine and fancy in beautiful clothes and I could not find a damn thing to wear and finally, I just said, "Look, I can't go. I'll stay here and clean up," because that's what I really wanted to do anyway.
Create some order out of chaos.

It's a beautiful morning but I am only about half an inch up the runway from the slough of despond.
I'm having heartburn. My heart burns.

Is it because it's Father's Day? Oh, who knows? Not me.
Facebook is filled with beautiful tributes to beloved fathers. Filled. My own children's tributes to their daddy, the man I married who is the best father I know.  Lily's post about Jason, the best father in the world that my grandsons could have. Shayla's loving pictures of Billy and Waylon. The pictures of men I knew as a child, the fathers of my friends, some of them who were indeed incredible fathers, loving men, gentle men.

Maybe I should make my own post. Dig out a picture of my father, the biological one. I could entitle it, "My Old Dead Drunk Daddy."
Man, he sucked as a father. Didn't see him from the time I was five until I was thirty.
Or perhaps my stepfather. Entitle that one, "The Man Who Sexually Abused Me and Thus, Made My Life A Living Hell And It's A Fucking Miracle I'm Still Alive."

Well, those would be different.

Do I sound bitter?
Yes. Yes I do. and the bitterness is eating my belly this morning.

It's not that anyone is entitled to a good father. I mean, it would be nice but the truth is, not all men who father children are worth the title of father at all.

And then there ARE the good fathers. The great ones. The ones who do the work and are present and not afraid to show their love, who love the mamas, who definitely deserve the title. And even though I didn't have one of those, I gave one to my kids.

Best thing I ever did.

But I'm here to tell you that just because a man can get a woman pregnant, it doesn't mean he'll be any damn good at all at being a father. Some of the best fathers I know are stepfathers. Or gay men who want to be fathers so badly that they go to hell and back to become dads, many of them raising the children abandoned by the men who technically fathered them. Or transgendered men who, well, I can't even think about that without crying.

It's all about love, isn't it? And isn't it always?

Which is why, perhaps, I am sad today.
If your own daddy doesn't love you enough to stick around, it's really hard to believe that you're worthy of love. Even when you're old enough to know that the reasons he didn't stick around had nothing to do with you.
And if the man your mother married destroyed your innocence, your ability to feel safe in this world, it's hard to learn to trust in love even if you know that not all men are like that.

Well hell. This is the worst Father's Day post ever.

I'm sorry.

I'm just trying to find some meaning in my sadness. To define it, to allow myself to feel it while still being grateful for all the good fathers. The ones I know, the ones I've known, the ones I don't know. To create some order out of the chaos that my heart is in today.

I should get off my ass and go pick some blackberries to make a cobbler for my husband's Father's Day. He'll be returning home soon and I'll be so glad to see him.
Such a good man. Such a good father.
And the years of steadfast love he's shown me have done so very much to heal me of the damage done by those other men.
One more reason to love him and one more reason to feel sadness- that he's had to put up with a wife who was broken in places that people shouldn't be broken.
And yet, he has.
And because of that, I am still here, and as halfway sane as I am, living this life I never, ever could have imagined with so much love that sometimes I'm completely overwhelmed and gobsmacked by it all and it lifts me and sustains me.

Time to quit crying and go pick some damn blackberries.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Come on over and I'll take you to my beach then I'll build a fire because it's cold here and then I'll cook you a huge dinner.

  2. Your bitterness is understandable. Nobody deserves the shit you were handed. And you don't wallow in it every day of your life. You're not even wallowing in it right now. You're acknowledging it. You've made a life you love and you focus on that.

  3. Rebecca- Dammit, woman. You made me cry again. Okay. I'll be right over. Thank you.
    And then tomorrow I'll cook for you.

    Jill- I may be wallowing a little bit. Thanks, though. And you know, I think it's good to acknowledge that not all fathers are worthy of either the title or the job. And the bad ones can do some real damage. The good ones, on the other hand, can help create magnificent human beings.

  4. Words provide a path for heartbreak and pain to leave, though only little by little. Your words are brave and true and you should never shy from truth. You are a beautiful mother and woman and that is testimony to the strength of your character and soul. Take heart, Mary, and make that cobbler for all your successes.

  5. Blackberry cobbler sounds like a beautiful thing.

    A girl shouldn't feel bad about not doing something for her own father if he doesn't recognise her birthday anymore, should she?

  6. It's a mixed bag isn't it? I thought about you first thing this morning because I knew the day could go any number of ways for you. But not for you children, and you accomplished that. It's a good day for them. Love.

  7. I like what Angella said. I was just going to say, "Fuck Father's Day and the horse it rode in on."

    Sending love.

  8. I don't know about entitled, but I do know you deserved a good father, like every child does. You deserved one and I wish you had gotten a good one. And I do think you are entitled to all these feelings, so just let yourself feel them, let them come when they come and go when they go.

  9. Damn. What Vesuvius said.

    And this:

    I'm holding your hand today. And wandering into your kitchen asking questions about the cobbler and how much longer we have to wait until it's done. Then I'll go on your porch and scream so bloodcurdlingly loud at the sight of those ginormous banana spiders and windmill my hands and arms so hard when just one cobweb touches me that you will laugh and laugh. So hard that you will forget if only for a second that you got ROBBED not once, but twice. Of a daddy and of your innocence in broad day light with people at home. Then when we stop laughing, we'll start crying and I'll tell you that your biological one missed out on a magical experience and that the step-one was a fucking coward who deserves to be kicked in the teeth with a steel toe boot. And then, right then, Mr. Moon will come through the door really wearing steel toe boots to remind us both that THIS is your world now. The one with him and Lily and Jason and May and Jessie and Vergil and grand babies and joy. And that it's safe to come out and play and no one can hurt you now. No one.

    Not even a big, scary fucking spider that you refuse to kill no matter how much it scares the shit out of your friends (virtual or otherwise.)

    You are so very loved. I'm sorry they let you down. But you won and they lost. Remember that, okay?

  10. I would personally give anything if you posted a tribute on Facebook entitled My Dead Drunk Daddy. I would Like the shit out of it :)

    I love the shit out of you, and I know this is a conflicted day for you. I'm glad you are loving on Mr Glen. The food sounds delicious and I hope in your dreams tonight, you are feeding only two :)

  11. I hope the cobbler was fabulous.
    I love you.

  12. Binky- Hello and thanks for commenting. I really appreciate your words.

    Jo- Hell no. HELL no!

    Angella- They love their daddy. All of them. And that does make me feel good.

    Elizabeth- Haha! Seriously.

    Ms. Vesuvius- I do. I will. Thank you.

    Gradydoctor- Thank you for all those kind-heart words. I appreciate them more than you can know. And if you ever did come over, we would just avoid the porch with all the spiders. I would protect you from that horror.
    Love you, woman.

    SJ- These dreams are killing me. Maybe next year I'll do the Old Dead Drunk Daddy post. Remind me.
    I adore you.

    Denise- It was pretty okay. Thanks, lady.

  13. I see a lot of brokenness from bad childhoods and marriages. A lot of people feeling abandoned and rejected. It's too bad that there aren't good instructions on how to be a father, a mother, a parent, a spouse. But sometimes people are just too broken themselves and they inflict that brokenness on others.

    I'm glad that you have Mr. Moon to love you and your children. He is not broken.


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