That Sunday in June, the one that follows a day for Mothers. The day to honor and celebrate your mother, the replaced mothers, the stand in mothers, the sisters who cared like mothers, the dads who worked as mother and father, the Mother of us all and ourselves as mothers. A day that conjured bounded flowers, phone calls from afar, memories of being warm and fed. Being mothered means a feeling that someone is nodding having watched you try so hard to do that thing you do.
Father. The projenitor of me. For all the less than stellar step ins, there should be no other like one’s father. He should be brave. You should remember him as calm yet strong. He would be the one you to answer your questions. How does that work? Why does that happen? Who invented that? What will become of me? Tell me about when I was born. We should be able to open worn boxes with frayed corners to sift through photographs of our dads. Standing side by side. A finished project. A place visited. A recognized squint in his face. Your face had become the same as his. He had done his job by the time you were old enough to resemble him. Your arms hang at the same angle. Your sweater falls to the left the same. You have the same glasses. He has taught you to look at the world with a certain eye. You will become what he promised, he had an idea. A plan you could work with. There is a bond.
Even if you came to his family from another family.
Even if you came to his family from another country.
Even if you were broken and battered. You were something he could work with. There was a promise.
Look for Me after I am 5 in pictures. I’m not there. He took pictures of places, strangers, airplanes, trees, landscapes. But not me. I wouldn’t be like him. I couldn’t be like them. There was no plan. I couldn’t see the world through his eyes, I couldn’t be that different. There was no bond. There would be no pictures to compare stance. No memory save the embarrassment. The drunkenness, the mean words, the useless prediction that I would be less than even he had become. The denials, the shift.
Comes a day to remember, reflect, feel and understand.