Photo: I took a trip to Gather Here because I needed fabric for a baby quilt I’d like to make for my dear friends who just adopted their second baby. This stack of fat quarters (and a few others I got) will be perfect, I think. I look forward to washing and cutting on Wednesday. Anyway, I got back here, after soaking in all that creative energy, and it got me to thinking about my post on Saturday. I’m just wondering what else I can do… are there any makers out there who are feeling the urge to do something re: the crisis at the border? Can we make dolls/toys or blankets or socks or… something small, lovingly made, to give comfort to these kids? I’m not a pattern maker… but if there is anyone out there who is… or if there is anyone who is already part of an organized idea, please share. I’ll amplify and I’ll participate.
Yesterday was… rough. Rougher than I thought it would be. This is the second year for which Father’s Day is a complicated day.
I did what I had done last year: cards went to my step-father instead of my biological one. The boys, not knowing any better, gleefully went through the aisle at the Paper Store looking for cards for my husband and then for their Pop-Pop. They are still unquestioning–why would they have questions? It’s not complicated for them. Maybe I’m just surprised that there was still a little tug in my heart this year. Not because I feel guilty, but because I’m still mourning, and maybe because I’m still a little bit angry.
I will be two years estranged from my father in October. Last Christmas, he sent his usual ornaments and a photo of his family. I gave the ornaments to my neighbors. I put the photos in the trash. That reads heartlessly, I know. Perhaps it is heartless. Perhaps I’m surprised at myself… that I’m capable of such a thing. Who knew I was capable of hardening my heart toward a person, to the point of letting days and months and holidays and years pass without contact. I go whole months without thinking of him. This time of year, though… it’s weird. His birthday and Father’s Day are within weeks of each other.
This year, I tried my best to stay away from Facebook, but that was a difficult thing to do. My entire feed was filled with tributes to the living and the dead. My sister in-law wrote a surprisingly rosy post about my philandering brother-in-law. “Greatest father to my boys,” she wrote of him. I was like, whaaaaaaat?
It was a great reminder, though. Yesterday wasn’t complicated for just me. There are a whole lot of people who had a complicated Father’s Day. There are people who have to project a myth, to do the “right thing” by their fathers, despite everything. I wonder how many more straight up fabrications were put up on the feed yesterday. I chuckle, but I also check myself–there is bitterness in the wondering. I know that and I’m not proud of it.
So I just put it away. I marked the holiday with nothing digital: nothing about The Husband, nothing about my stepfather and nothing noting how complicated the day is for some folks. I just let it all be. I told myself this was the healthy thing to do.
Healthy behavior was spending time with the boys and The Husband. All three of them had a spectacular day. It started with doughnuts, their favorite, and it ended with grilled scallops and soft shell crab, their favorites as well.
It was a happy distraction, for sure. The day went on, the sun rose this morning, life went on. It’s just a day… but it will come ’round again. I guess I’ll deal with it then. All these days in between, well, it’s complicated.
Hug your children. Hold your government accountable. Stand firm for your values.
Tend to your fire. Lend water to the fire burning brightly at the border.
Stay focused. Stay focused. We need you.