Tag Archives: Family

Dear Father

Something amazing happened last month…

 

My dad went to the theater…

 

He hasn’t been in years…

 

Star Wars made it happen…

 

I’ll hold that memory close for years to come.

 

Yes, my dear father, this blog is for you…

 

My dad’s birthday is tomorrow and I decided that the best way that I could commemorate this event is to A) bake him a cake that will resemble a Hostess Ding Dong B) listen to music that makes me think of him (as of this moment the magical tune is Bohemian Rhapsody) and C) spend tomorrow evening eating said Ding Dong cake and watching one of our favorite shows return to television; The X-Files.

 

I have fond memories of The X-Files… I mean, other than my long lasting hopelessly nerdy crush on David Duchovny. My dad, brothers, and I would all gather around the television to watch this (often cheesy… in a good way) science fiction show that we grew to love. Sometimes, it felt as if that was our version of “family time”. We were close at those times without having to say a word. While some people will always have Paris, we will always have the extraterrestrial consumed mind of Mulder.

 

Our connection began there and it only grew over time into the bullshitting beast that it is today. He taught me the inner workings of life. At times, all that required was for him to stand back. He watched, made sure we were okay, and offered guidance when we needed it. We were set in our ways by the time we came to live with him (a hard bargain when it came to our natural stubbornness) but he handled it with a kind of quiet elegance. There were a few bumps along the way but I call myself better for them. He taught me some of the most imperative mannerisms that I have. Although it took me quite a while, his thirst for knowledge has grown inside of me. We talk, debate, and educate each other. I have had many compelling conversations with him, which has blossomed into something philosophically demanding. He taught me to think, not for anyone else but for myself. To have an opinion is to be functional but he gave me lessons in utilizing those opinions with the proper motivations of essential functionality. He turned me into this harsh speaking opinionated woman so, please, take a moment to thank him. Without him, I wouldn’t be able to describe the details of the world’s stupidity and properly examine how I don’t give a fuck. I do carry his simplicity as well. I can appreciate the sound of a piano, a great meal, or the beauty in my surroundings because of him. His mechanisms have fostered my creativity. My dad is the spark of why I am this way and my pride in that fact expands everyday.

 

While my relationship with my dad didn’t start till later in my life, it has grown to become one of the greatest relationships I currently have. He is your typical proud papa with an extra coating of bias but I’m okay with that. I look forward to it. It’s the best hug I receive all day. I find comfort in knowing that even if I didn’t have a single other fan, his fandom makes me the most important person in the world. He is everything that makes up an exceptional father.

 

I love you, dad, with every inch of my heart.

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The Cost Of Motherhood

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I feel the need to write about motherhood. Or, at least, the side that no one seems to want to discuss on a regular basis. This is the part every mother fears explaining for the shame that soon follows. The part that seems to haunt us.

 

There are the things that are domesticating in a mother’s life. I’m talking about the laundry, dishes, cooking, bedtime stories, teeth brushing, and many more that often get credited on Mother’s Day. Thanks for always taking care of me, mom. You wiped my ass when I needed it most. Sure, I will cook for my daughter. I will make sure she showers. I will even buy her that movie that she is dying to have. This is the forefront, the obvious, and the celebrated side. If you are a truly lucky mother, the children may even remember the times you kissed their boo boos and wiped their tears away. We are their superheroes and we will fight for them no matter what the cost to ourselves. This is the part that I am getting at though, the cost.

 

What no one ever seems to want to discuss is the completely terrifying moments that come from being a mother. Those moments when your child tears you down to nothing but the pile of shit they just threw on the floor. They scream at you, hate you, call you a liar, wrong, terrible… the worst mother in the entire world. The fits they throw with all the crying and nail-biting screams. There are moments when they do not listen to you. They completely ignore that you are even there. They make fun of you in front of their friends. They hit you, scratch you, and even bite you. Worst of all, they reject you…

 

There is a moment when all of this comes to a point. I like to call it the “lost space.” That moment when your child is lying face down on the floor, screaming and crying, and will not let you near them. The only thing that you can do is to just sit and watch them. There is not a single thing that will stop this from happening. Everything else in the world stops. Call the school. Forget your job. Turn off your phone. This is a personal day. An important family matter has come up. At this point in time you are lost. You cannot control your child. You are left in a standstill without a single solution to what is happening. This is not simply a moment of sanity loss but an intolerably heavy moment of severe depression and blinding rage rolled up in a nice blanket of paralyzing fear. You are no longer a mother but a soul from damnation that has brought forth the fires of Hell and then forgot the leash. Everything that has made you into who you are melts away and there is nothing left but an empty crumbling shell. You know that you should act like a mother but you forgot how.

 

Most children will not remember these moments but a mother will. Whether it was multiple times or just one big one, this is something that no one talks about. As mothers, it is our job to hide it but it’s there. It lives in a memory under our skin. It itches on occasion and calls out to us. It reminds us of the terrible possibility that we have failed. Maybe we will still fail. Maybe our child will grow up to become a terrorist or serial killer while the world looks to us and asks why. We do not have the answers. All we know is that the moment passed. We made it to the other side. It is finished and confused relief sets in.

 

Parenthood, in general, tears you down as a human being. I used to think that being a line cook was the most grueling and harshest job that there is but I was so incredibly wrong. Being a parent is a soul-crushing and murderous way to live. From the moment they are born, beyond the tedious domesticating responsibilities, you are filled with anxiety, frustration, exhaustion, and a looming sense of complete failure. This will never go away but those moments of “lost space” will. Eventually, when you reach the other side, you remember that this is your child. The real test of being a mother comes from the after effects of these moments when you can give your child a hug and tell them that it will be okay. What separates a mother from anyone else is her ability to look past those desires to watch the world burn down and still love her child without resentment. They come from our blood and whether we understand them or not, a world without our children is useless.

 

Mother’s Day is not about celebrating the endless piles of laundry that get done but remembering the sacrifices given without hesitation. When your mother looks at you with loving eyes and tells you that there was a time when she was unsure about your future, please, take her seriously. If it weren’t for her ability to see beyond moments of purely agonizing rage, you would not be here.

 

Remember that and go kiss your mother.