Yesterday, for Father's Day, Todd and I hosted the WHOLE group of people we consider family at a backyard cookout. It was busy and hot, and fun and exhausting.
Every time I find myself shopping for a Father's Day card, I feel a bit envious of the easy relationship that is portrayed on those cards. That Hallmark-y, starry-eyed, he's-the-first-man-I-ever-wanted-to-marry-and-he-taught-me-how-to-fish-and-hit-a-softball kind of relationship.
Because I don't know about you and your father, but that's not the kind of relationship I have with my father.
My father and I disagree on a bunch of stuff; big things like politics and religion and politics and life goals and oh, yeah, politics. But I have a tremendous amount of love respect for him. Where he has ended up is so far from where he started that it's astonishing. That journey has made him a man who just brims over with love and kindness and a generosity the likes of which I have never seen in anyone else. And while his is not the life I have chosen for myself, it's nice to get to be a tourist into it once in awhile, and invite him into mine on occasion.
That he loves me unconditionally, I have never questioned. And isn't that truly, at the heart of things, what makes a man a father?
To me, a real father-daughter relationship doesn't make for a very good Hallmark card: too many sharp edges, and corners you don't look at too closely, and fuzzy bits, and sentiments that don't fit into a neat rhyme.
But it's real. And it's better. And really, when I think about it, I'm not THAT envious of the Hallmark fathers and daughters. Softball was just never my thing, anyway.