Happy Father’s Day!! (belated, I know).
This was my public father’s day missive:
“Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers out there who work full-time to support their children and families financially, either employed outside the home, or as caregivers and housekeepers. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who make it their business to take responsibility for the workings of their household–who clean toilets and refrigerators without being asked, just because those tasks need doing; who keep track of library books and jackets; who of their own volition send out birthday cards and gifts when appropriate; who take on the emotional and psychological tasks of raising children. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who would never dream of sitting on the sofa with their feet up, clicking on their phones, while their spouses or partners run around ragged, desperately trying to get the dishes done, the kids ready to go, the floor mopped, etc. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there who take the time and energy to schedule and pay for their children’s extracurricular activities: who gently and lovingly make sure that violins and pianos get practised, who look at the calendar to make sure their kids get to their activities on time, and who model doing the work first, before self-indulgence. Happy Father’s Day to the fathers who never rationalize or make excuses for their mistakes or shortcomings but rather who acknowledge their issues, and, and who sincerely work to change their behaviour when necessary. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who give their children the example every day, of living with dignity and self-respect: who always clean up after themselves, and who take care of their possessions and the belongings of others responsibly, and who never wallow in their own filth. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who refuse to participate in rape culture, and the pervasive culture of toxic masculinity, and who instead give their daughters and sons an example of how to live with integrity by never partaking in the collective abuse and hatred of women through the use of pornography and prostitution. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who treat their partners with love and respect, and who see women as human beings, rather than sex dolls or maids. Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers who treat their children and other people with kindness, patience, respect and love.”
And soon after, I got a call from my mum, asking me if everything is ok between me and Lee.
So, while I really don’t think my father’s day message is out of line at all, I wrote a little addendum:
“It’s always a bit weird writing stuff like this. As I mentioned above, I don’t really think these criteria are too much to ask…and I am very lucky that in my birth-work, I overwhelmingly see examples of wonderful fathers. I’m also ambivalent about making a big fuss about what I see as basic decency. Sadly, I also see lots of fathers who haven’t chosen to implement what in my view is the simple foundation of good fatherhood. (I love my own dad always, but I can’t say parenting was his forte). Anyway. I chose a pretty great dad for my kids, one who is almost always on board with all of the above. We love you Lee Horus Clark“.
And that’s the truth. <3
We did have a lovely father’s day–we spent the afternoon at the kids’ piano and violin recitals (both Horus and Treva did wonderfully–Lee and I were so proud), and then we went to a nearby lake, where we picnicked and lounged, and then had to break into the truck to save Cosmo who had been locked in there along with the keys (all was well, and Lee–father extraordinaire–proved a masterful truck burglar, requiring only about 8 minutes to gain entry!).
It was a good time.