Home > Family, Love, Parenting, Relationships > Bad dad, good dad / yesterday, today

Bad dad, good dad / yesterday, today

What better way to start Father’s Day than with an argument?

I felt forlorn as I shuffled toward the market, mind cyclically returning to the argument and meandering away from it. I thought about my own dad, whom I continue to love–from a distance–despite his transgressions, understanding that the hardness he endured shaped the hardness he later delivered. I thought about my sisters’ husbands, and how sweet they are with their children. And, of course, I thought about the day itself, and the daddy in all my days now.

Every day should be Mother’s Day. Every day should be Father’s Day. Every day, we should love and celebrate the loving people in our lives regardless of what we call them. But then again, every day we are overwhelmed with chores and bills, tasks and talks that make it easy for the poetic to fall prey to the practical.

It’s good to have a day to be reminded to see what lies beyond the shuffle, and be thankful for it. On such a day, gift-wrapped presents aren’t important, not compared to presents of loving presence that can’t be bought.

My family

My family, three years ago

Father’s Day, like all these Hallmark holidays, is a personal day of reminder–not purchase–for me. Where did you come from? Where are you? And there is choice, too. Where do you want to be?

Where did you come from? I came from generations of abuse.

Where are you? Surrounded by love, outside of my house and even more abundantly within it.

Where do you want to be? Exactly where I am, with my son and my future mister snuggled together on the couch, their heads conspiratorially close as they discuss the old film Bedknobs and Broomsticks.


Three years ago, I celebrated my first Father’s Day with the father of my then eight-month-old son. I thought about what I missed out on in childhood, and counted myself grateful my son would never know hardships that played significant roles in both his parents’ lives. As I watched my son and his father then, it was already clear their relationship would be defined not by mere physical presence but a there-ness that would fill my son with a sense of his dad’s love even when the two were far apart. My son’s dad would teach him a strength that permits tears, even when other people are watching, and quiet, even when other people expect shouting.

Watching them together now, I see not just only this moment but three years’ worth of loving memories. Every day is a day filled with love now, even days like today that begin with contention. Every day is father’s day here. But I’m glad for Father’s Day, reminding me of all the cycles gone before and filling me with awe at the increasing beauty of each new cycle.

The past is done. The present, this Father’s Day and all the days around it, is every bit as sweet as I predicted the first time I saw my honey’s fatherly love for his newborn son.

It doesn’t matter if the day began with a fleeting argument. Looking at what’s lasting, I cannot help but celebrate that love, this day and all days.

daddy love

  1. unfetteredbs
    June 16, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    What a beautiful share. Love the pictures

  2. June 16, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    I am so happy for you and I pray that these beautiful thoughts and feelings will stay ever present in your relationships, even through difficult times.

  3. June 16, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Fantastic and moving as usual. 🙂 Also, I couldn’t help noticing that we have two of Lil’D’s exact crib in our house. Hope you have a great rest of the day with your two guys.

  4. mgbmdri
    June 16, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    This is beautiful ❤

  5. June 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Toward the end of the day, as I am rocked with missing people in my life I was rolled with love.

    Thank you, thank you so very much.

  6. June 17, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Arguments and disagreements mean that you have a voice. They should have their place in every relationship. It is, as you said, ending the day with love that matters.

  7. June 19, 2013 at 2:27 am

    That is one beautiful tribute. Love lives on in our hearts even if the people we love are physically away from us. We need to celebrate them as often as we can with our little ones. Bond of family is priceless in this world.

  8. June 19, 2013 at 8:59 am

    A thoughtful post on the past and the present. We all have scars that we’re trying to heal. I don’t celebrate some holidays because of past sad memories. I don’t think that is wrong. We all have to salvage our emotions until it is strong enough to get past it. If you have some time perhaps you’d like to read my Father’s Day post.

  9. June 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Love this. You truly know what is important in life.

  10. June 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Beautiful work once more, young lady.
    Be well.

  1. June 22, 2013 at 9:12 am
  2. June 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm

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