Father’s Day n Stuff

19 Jun

It is father’s day! I am spending it in Wisconsin with my friend and her father, and I’m pretty sure that plan involves waffles. Sweet!

I think that days like Father’s Day are cool, but exclusive. I know quite a few people who are playing/have played really important roles in children’s lives. I’m sure Father’s Day was invented to sell cards, or something like that, but in my head it’s always been about celebrating those people in your life who, whatever gender they feel and whether or not they donated a sperm to your existence, played an important, loving, and supportive role in your life. I think there should just be two Parents’ Days. I think it could work. You’d have to buy twice as many cards, and no one would get left out based on socially assigned concepts of gender. Everybody wins!

But, if we’re going about this the traditional way, then I have to take this second to talk about the sheer levels of awesome my life sometimes hits. Not only did the guy whose sperm made half of my little fetus self turn out to be an awesome, supportive, loving father, but I also lucked out and got a stepfather who totally loves me and all of my progressive feminist ways, even though he doesn’t technically have to. His oldest child, Carrie, is about ten years older than me, so he saved me from a lot of punishment as a teenager by telling my mom that I really wasn’t that bad, in his experience.

Not only do I have two awesome fathers, I grew up with three grandfathers: Granddad, Papaw, and Grandpa Donaho. My papaw is rather brilliant, though he’s been retired for as long as I can remember. He’s the silent type, except when it comes to gases leaving the body. My Grandpa Donaho is my biological grandfather, my dad’s father, but we didn’t see much of each other while I was growing up, because sometimes fatherly relations are complicated. He also lives in that scary part of East Texas where people you’re related to say really sexist/misogynist/racist things when you’re least prepared for it, so we don’t see him much. My Grandad is my dad’s adopted father, and he is the reason I have such a bomb ass name. I didn’t know him all too well, and he died about a week before I graduated. His memorial service was on the same day as my high school graduation. It was weird, I’ve learned so much more about him since he died than I ever did when he was alive, and it seems like he was pretty cool, too.

Not everyone will agree with me, but I think that parenthood is really just about love and support, because if you give a kid enough of those things, you’ll already be leading by example. Everybody has issues. (For example, I sent my dad a copy of When Atheism Becomes Religion for Father’s Day. It’s a really subtle message, I know.) That’s because, unlike the way they appear when you are a small developing child person, your parents aren’t actually superhuman. They’re just people, who decided to adopt/foster/birth/love you, and gave it the best go they could. I think I turned out all right, if a tad morally self-righteous, and so I raise a glass of milk (it is the morning) to all the fathers out there. Happy father’s day!




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