For Father’s Day I let my children know, repeatedly, that they are free to ask me any questions they want to about their father and I will give an honest answer- any day of the year.
My oldest took me up on it, on Saturday. He asked why his father got sick, and I told him he had some illnesses that he would not see the doctor about. He asked, for the first time, what the names of the illnesses were and I told him. PTSD, addiction, and what looked to be symptoms of schizophrenia, paranoid delusions. I did not go into details on what his father was addicted to (I am sure I do not know all of it, myself), but I did tell him that because these illnesses can run in families he would have to take very good care of himself throughout his life.
I reminded him of the family history on his father’s side, how much good his father and his father’s family has done in this world. For the first time I told him all the hopes and goals his father had regarding his children, and how I knew his father had become completely insane when he threw away every single one of his previous values and dreams. I told him he was very much wanted by his father, that his father was so proud to have a son like him, before he got ill. I reminded him of the good deeds his father had done, both in my company and away. I told him about the important jobs his father had held, how much he helped people in his positions. I explained how important human rights and human equality had been to his father before illness. I did not say anything bad about his father, and I did not bring any relationship issues into the conversation.
I was being honest. This is how his father was perceived when I met him and in the early years of our relationship. I was surprised that middle child had no questions. Maybe he will ask another day, or maybe he is too young.
We tried to go and get danishes for Father’s Day, which is what we did the first Father’s Day on our own, but youngest child threw a fit in the store because she could not just rip into a muffin before checkout, and we had to leave. I do not allow my children to eat on the hoof before paying. The older kids were disappointed, but I would say very understanding about it. Props to the boys.
A request has been made for a layered creme cake tomorrow, and I am going to oblige.
I did wish a Happy Father’s Day to my mother and my father. I did wish Happy Father’s Day to the moms I know who are doing it by themselves. If I knew any dads doing it alone I would wish them a Happy Mother’s Day, too. So please don’t swoop down on me and tell me I am denying Father’s Day to fathers by wishing it to the mothers, instead. Equal opportunity single parenthood, here.