So yesterday was Fathers’ Day- a day when, it seems, every other dad on Facebook is declared to the ‘The Best’ ‘Number 1’ Dad Ever (I don’t know what the criteria is but someone may want to tell some of them that someone else has claimed the No 1 spot already; maybe the Dad of the first person to post on Facebook has the Title for that year and then the race begins again next year? Hmm, but what about cheeky Aussies who have a day’s headstart?!)
It has got me thinking about people like me-no, not other humorously-bitchy, sarcastic, can’t stand unoriginality and detest ‘cute’ crap on Facebook whatever day it is people-but rather people who have no yearning to wax lyrical about our fathers. Now my dad was a good dad in some great areas, the best area being FUN: kite-flying on Parliament Hill Fields followed by ice-cream on a Sunday morning, and cricket games in the back garden made more exciting with the addition of a water balloon-my dad’s genius idea! And, as with every other human being living or deceased, he was a twot in others. And that’s not a terrible thing.
I haven’t had to wrestle over which ‘Greatest Dad’ card to choose from the multitude because that’s not a card I’ll ever buy (nor should anyone over the age of 10years for that matter!). Neither is my dad my best friend or the person on whom I lean in life’s storms, or from whom I gain a sense of solidity and self. *But I am actually immeasurably grateful for that!*
Due in part to realising early on that my dad is a really flawed, unfinished person (i.e. a human being. And a bloody fun, generous, intelligent and sociable one at that.) I am a wonderfully well-rounded human being:
I am wonderfully independent;
I am wonderfully strong;
I have my dad’s wonderfully sarcastic, witty, scathingly piss-taking sense of humour;
I have a wonderfully honed bullshit detector;
I have a wonderful capacity to lavish love and support, and to receive it from others;
I have a wonderful capacity to forgive;
I have a wonderful sense of self-worth which isn’t based on how much my parents or friends love, accept or like me. (While every experience of rejection or being disliked [that scathing sense of humour isn’t for everyone!] scuffs my self-esteem, and wobbles my sense of self-worth, it bounces back into place like a roly-poly toy.)
So I didn’t buy a ‘Best Dad Ever’ card this year (which is fitting because my own, funny, dad would probably roll his eyes and make a sarcastic quip at it anyway!). And I am happy to say that having a dad who couldn’t compete in that competition is not a bad thing. I had an incredible Grandfather (even allowing for the ‘he’s dead so suddenly everything he did was perfect’ rose-tinted glasses effect he was pretty fecking fantastic!). And my Heavenly Father is beyond superb: He is perfect. But I am *immensely* grateful for my flawed human dad. He has helped me practise kindness and grace and self-love. He has taught me how to strive to love my neighbour while also loving myself. And he has helped me to be strong. Which is great because, as we all know, parents won’t always be here. But when he’s gone I won’t be bereft. My sense of self is exactly where it belongs: securely held inside me.