|This is how we do|
Moments before settling into spiked hot chocolate, I'd stopped over my Partner in Crime's to witness family life; his parents, girlfriend, and sister gathered around a beautiful tree exchanging gifts. I felt like an unwanted alien. Something to pick at and dissect. I didn't mean to intrude. I just wanted to drop off a present for him and a card for his parents.
An hour or so later, as I watched the animated cartoons, from time to time, I spurted a few tears, but after a long while, Baxter and I cuddled, said Merry Christmas, and went to sleep. It was over for another year.
Father's Day kind of feels like that.
At work, the cash register faces a pretty display of cards. Right now, the hot sellers are Father's Day cards. They're witty, and clever, and everything I'd want if I were buying a F-Day card. But I'd have no one to send it to.
At work today, a man came in who strikingly resembled my father. My hands started shaking as I imagined him grabbing the back of my head and bouncing it off the counter top, or worse, calling me by my first name. Or worse yet, rendering me unmovable, and telling me to go outside and being trapped, and kidnapped, and helpless...again.
I imagined him saying he missed me, or he loved me, or any of those things my father had repeatedly said before he'd hurt my sisters or me. Even after I realized the balding gentleman in front of me was not my father, I couldn't stop shaking.
Not all little girls grow up with Fathers. Not all little girls grow up with Mothers. But some of us grow up with Sisters, or kickass friends, or amazing teachers. Never underestimate who you're influencing when you interact with the youth. Many people kept me from becoming my parents. Many people kept me from throwing my life away, several times over.
|Kind of like an empty dinner table...all the time|
I'm not saying it's easy to not have family. It's not. Christmas is never fun. Thanksgiving is lonely. I don't get to imagine my wedding and my father (or anyone's father) giving me away. Growing up without parents isn't easy. But people can do it. And people can turn out okay.
So for those of you who having loving husbands, hug them. For those who've had loving fathers, love them, too. Celebrate the strong men in your life, let them know what they mean to you, because there are some people in the world cringing on this day, wishing for the chance to give a strong man a hug. Instead, settling for cuddling with a large dog.