I wish that Hallmark would come out with a new line of Father’s Day cards for dutiful children whose dad never gave a crap. I opened many cards that spoke of loving advice, warm embraces, and gentle guidance. Nope, nope, and nope. I’m probably not the only one out there that feels this way.
My dad never hugged me or told me that he was proud of me, even when I graduated from college. My dad never told me I looked beautiful in that dress, even on my wedding day. There were no father daughter “dates”. We didn’t go out to eat together, to the movies, or anywhere. He showed up to events when he “had” to. Warm fatherly words of advice consisted of “shit happens” and “life’s a bitch, then you die.” Ok, you get the picture. I never dated anyone without daddy issues either.
My husband, Paul, is a 1960’s love child. He was born to a single, unwed, high school dropout, teenage mother in Chicago. They were dirt poor. Paul spent the first half of his childhood in low income housing in Chicago. His mother enjoyed a brief marriage while there, just enough to change her name. When the city started to get rough and gang activity started heating up, his mom moved him out of the city along with his retired, widowed grandma. They moved up to a small town in northern Wisconsin. Talk about culture shock! Paul did get teased because he had the same last name as his grandma. His mom had a different last name, but still no dad. What a small town scandal in the 1970’s, for sure.
Paul has a brilliant Mensa level mind. He earned his MBA while starting up his own successful business. He is always sought out to help organizations with their finances or in leadership roles. He is also a great dad to our children. But where does he go for fatherly advice? He has a great step-dad now, but his only two sons both got out of prison last year. Probably not the best place for advice. Certainly not my dad either.
Paul’s mother is a little slow, she never could complete her GED. She would rather play the slots than play with her grandkids. There were countless occasions where she would cancel out last minute, not show up at all, or come hours late. When she did show up, sometimes she would leave angry spewing out obscenities. For all of her shortcomings, I have to thank her for not aborting my husband and for moving him out of the city.
For all of you dads out there celebrating Father’s Day this weekend, have a good one! If you are struggling to be a good dad, it is never too late for change. You can still lead a relatively happy life with daddy issues. If you have a Hallmark card dad, tell him how much you appreciate him before it is too late.