Dooce has gathered essays and written about dads. As my clock seems to be ticking louder and louder these days - concurrent with my lament that my husband and I can't possibly be ready for children - I wonder about fatherhood. About what it feels like.
There are many things I will never know about - Thailand's infrastructure, kidney mash, what it is to be blind (I could go on). And I will never know what it feels like to be a father -- despite having one, having a variety of fatherhood figures in my life - despite wanting to be a team member in a parenting pair.
So, on to my Dad. Mel. Melvin if I was feeling particularly snarky. He was strong. Growing up he used to work out in our basement and I remember him lifting lots of things. He had a fantastic ability to be there - where ever there needed to be. It was a phone call, an email, a scribbled note. He was always present - always supportive, never taking over the moment.
Now, this I say are my impressions of my father as a child. As an adult, I saw something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. So, maybe that was a lesson in and of itself -- nothing, no one is ever exactly what they seem. (How damn scary that you left me with that. How damn scary that trust and predictability seems to be the thing I cannot get past.)
Lessons though -- not impressions, but lessons... I think my faith has a lot of its roots in my father's teachings. He loved to go to church - to read us the Bible. I think if he was ever able to escape the shackles of his wife he would go back to being the man he was supposed to be.
And I... I'm glad he warned me. I remember him telling me I was becoming a Dragon Lady like my mom. I knew, through his mistake, his sacrifice that I needed someone strong. Not just physically strong - I can hire someone to move the dining room hutch - but someone emotionally strong and grounded. Thank you Dad. In a round about way, I think you might have saved me there.
I wish I could save you. I wish I knew more about you. Why things are still so secret. Why you won't talk to your parents. I wish I knew why you won't get out. Lessons: I know you've got more to give. It's a damn shame you aren't around to give them.
So, anyway can't wait to read the book. Dude that was a pretty visceral reaction. You should probably pre-order at Amazon.