22 June 2010
Day 87: I Know I Am, But What Are You?
Father's Day 2010 came and went last Sunday and it passed without me acknowledging it...at least to any fathers that I know. I've known some men who are great fathers: my cousins seem to fit into this category and so does their father. I know my grandfather was a fabulous grandfather; I think he had some constricting rules to his fatherhood when he was raising my dad that prevented him from being as wonderful.
It sounds cold, but I don't really feel the need to recognize a father who hasn't really been in my life in the last ten years now, more than that if you include the emotional distance that started before my parents divorced. I can't tell you exactly when my father stopped being my dad. I know I started calling him by his first name somewhere around the 4th grade and the time of his first hospitalization for mental illness. I could have forgiven him that, I understand that he really couldn't and can't help his depression, he is severely diseased, but I'm not sure that gives him an excuse to absent himself from my life as completely as he has.
Sam Bee's parents were part of a long string of parents to divorce, even when it wasn't the norm. My parents were actually the first, and you would be surprised at the grief my family gave them, even now when divorce is fairly common. They did finally come to accept it when they saw how much happier my mother was without my father. I was actually very prepared for the divorce, I somehow knew it was coming a year before there were any real signs of trouble. As bad as I took it with the knowledge of it happening, I'm not sure what it would have been like if I hadn't known. Maybe I would have gone the same route as my brother, becoming violent and using drugs and alcohol constantly.
I was very confused by my extended family's reaction to my parents' divorce. They had all met my father, they knew he wasn't contributing anything good to my mom's life or his children's upbringing. If anything he was just making things worse. Honestly, after our 5th birthday, we might have been better off in a single parent household.
So to the fathers who are also dads, I hope you had a great father's day, but you'll have to excuse me if it's not a day I especially look forward to.
*My fiance (an English Major) and I actually debated about how this should be capitalized and neither of us could remember. I'm pretty sure it should be "I Know I am, but What are You?" however, that looks really weird, so any grammar police are just gonna have to suck it up and go get your own blogs.