Of course this Sunday is Father's Day, a happy day of me doing exactly what I do every day (being awesome with my kids) except I get a card and, if I'm lucky, get to pick dinner. Unfortunately, it also, like Mother's Day, reminds me that there are people out there who had sex and made me...and did a pretty damn good job raising me and teaching me.... *sigh* and whom I no longer speak to.
The details of what lead to that decision are here in the blog somewhere, and you can feel free to find them. ( I know, a real blogger would link to that stuff. Shame on me, but I have a baby asleep on me and I'm trying to hurry this up.) The simple way of putting it all is that once I decided to enter adulthood ( and when exactly that was could be argued) our relationship started to change. When my wife and I got together, my relationship with my parents really started to change. There was lots of stress but we kept working through it, then Joel came.
They didn't want anything to do with him. I tried to fix it; it didn't work, we didn't talk. Then Joel died. I called them, thought they should know, thought they would be a comfort.
Honestly, I think they tried, but their other feelings and attitudes just couldn't be set aside long enough for us to get through Joel's death peacefully and without issue. So, for the sake of my sanity, my marriage, and my kids, I cut off my parents.
It sucked and still sucks.
I bring this up partly because it weighs only mind and I figure I ought vent it, and of course also as a cautionary tale for any other DB'ers at happen across my blog, but also because I want to make a bit of a point about parents. Particularliy about parents and their adult, or even teenage, children. I've said before that raising a Child, even pertfectly, does not guarantee blind allegiance on the part of that child. That kind of expectation is counter-intuitive to the idea of raising an independent person.
(and maybe this goes without saying) disagreements or mistakes in the parent/child relationship do not necessarily effect then full spectrum of that relationship. (what??) In other words, despite this other shit, I still appreciate everything my parents did for me,everything they taught me, and I still love them very much.
All that said, I still don't think much of Father's Day. But just for the hell of it, here is a little piece I wrote last August that kind of sums up how I feel about being a Dad.
And for any other DB Dads that stumble across this blog, you count too. Caring for and protecting that memory is what we do to make up for all the things we were never able to do.
Originally post: AUGUST 5, 2010
I'll just be honest here: I've spent what I feel like is a whole helluva lot of time helping Jules sleep. He is a restless kid, always has been.
In the hospital, just hours into the light and the pollution, his eyes held focus on everything. It was the general comment from all his onlookers: "he's so...aware." Aware. Always noticing things going on, even when all he could do was wake up or squirm in response. Noise he never seemed to mind (except our voices or the animals), but light, commotion; these things stirred him.
He never slept in the car; he was either content or cried. And by cried I mean wailed; torturous cries that made you think something horrible was happening back there. He was persistent in these cries. Unrelenting and inconsolable; no pacifiers, no bottles, no songs or rubs: just get me the fuck out. It was this way until past his fist birthday, really.
A sleep schedule? Only in the past few months have we established something resembling a sleep schedule. On average he takes an hour to bed down without being held and rocked. He tends to just keep going: tapping fingers, rubbing legs, fiddling with his hair (many a late, late night I've wanted to shave that pretty little head) or, my favorite, just sitting straight up as I do my best Splinter Cell out of the room, even after he fails to respond after I raise his arm the third time, and THEN slowly count to 60 to make sure he is out cold.
Before he was a person -- you know, back when he was just a squirming mass of cute and chub, sucking in as much formula and information as possible -- getting him to sleep required this ridiculous amount of stimulation: patting, rubbing, walking, bouncing. I developed what I came to call my Rastafarian dance; this long-strided bounce paired with deep toned humming of song while patting and rubbing my easily bored offspring. It was the only thing that ever would get him to sleep in less than 20 minutes. Seriously, he could be dead tired, and still to this day, when the lights go out for bed, he's awake.
On average -- even now, with his willingness to go to bed, and a two storybook a night habit -- he takes about an hour to get to sleep. I don't mind it. It has certainly become easier. And he's sweet about it all.
He still hates the state of being asleep though -- or maybe its the state of grogginess that he hates: if he moves towards conciousness at all, he becomes pretty upset (something else we've slowly worked on). He'll cry out, or lumber into the hall, "Daddy hol' me". Yeah, it's pretty damned heart melting.
Thing is, this is all preface. This is not what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write about tonight's storm. One of those classic, summer night, thunder and lightning extravaganzas. Rumbles as if Great Cthulhu were rising and flashes so bright you can't help but to get the feeling stepping into their light would reveal some truth of the soul. Yes, the kind of storm that makes you get all crazy on adjective porn.
Whatever it is in me that wants to stand in the rain felt especially strong tonight. Like there were layers of filth that needed not only to be washed off, but burned away in the blinding spark of that summer lightning. I guess you could say there's something a bit wild to it; something primal.
"Daddy hol' me"
and like that, I don't need the lightning, or the thunder, or that swell of ancient Viking spirit to reveal any truth to me. The dirts still there, perhaps somethings buried inside, but for now, I'm good. Very good.
Guess that's what 'Daddy' is all about.