Father’s Day is always one of those observances that finds me unsure what to say or do. It’s complicated, much like my relationship with my dad was. And sharing that amidst the happy photos and total wash of love you see online on a day like this, feels like you may be raining on the parade. And that’s not who I am or want to be, but then as I made breakfast, I decided to go ahead and share some of my thoughts & complications because I’m sure I’m can’t be the only one not seeing unicorns, skittles & rainbows.
Why did breakfast lead me to post about dad? Well, on my grocery trip yesterday, I saw country ham and decided to give it a go. It is one of those things that is a really cloudy memory but I remember now and then having it as a child. And while I think my dad liked it, it could have been served at my grandparent’s house. Bacon and eggs was the more typical breakfast meal…. dad loved friend eggs for breakfast.
I can remember us fixing breakfast while camping on weekends. We had a pop-up camper that my parents bought. It was used and the top was really messed up so my guess is nobody else wanted it, which means we could afford it. My mom & paternal grandmom actually made a new heavy-duty tent canvas pop-up for it. At the time, I remember thinking it was just what they did, looking around in my world today, I think it is a modern marvel to think about the lengths to which my parents went so we would be able to spend occasional weekends camping, fishing, etc. That is something to celebrate on father’s day.
The memories are cloudy and complicated though in part because dad died while I was in college. And I was just beginning to see him differently. I was just beginning to see him as a person outside of being my parent. I had just begun to think about the life ahead of me and how hard it was to adult. Knowing that adulting is hard could have helped me see my dad in so many different ways. I regularly think of him as I’m working, especially when I have the thrill of documents fresh off the press.
So this father’s day, I think the reflection time has served me well. Will head out to see some friends, including a dad who deserves to be celebrated.
PS — These photos are 1) early 80s at a birthday party for my nieces, 2) with me from the mid-60s & 3) 50s with his BIL