I do not like to toot my own horn, generally. But I survived.
I know that there are many that do cookouts on Father’s Day. I didn’t. I prepared chili stew, because I knew it would require minimal prep and could sit in a slow cooker while we were at church.
I hurt like hell, unfortunately as usual. But the family didn’t get ready early enough to walk, and I guess I was relieved that we opted to drive there, although it was only a few blocks. I knew that I’d need to run the electrostim device during the last two hours of meetings. And I suspected that I’d have to wrangle my son during the main worship service again. He’d been antsy ever since school ended, and any disruption to his routine usually presses him to act up. (He’ll start summer school twice a week beginning tomorrow, however.)
My suspicions were confirmed when the children were asked to come up to the stand for a musical number. I appreciated my daughter going up to help my son out, as some of the younger children would have plowed through me (how do little children do that?) But he didn’t want to come down after that, and so I had to go up and sit with him, basically in full view of the entire congregation. He wouldn’t sit still at all and seemed to take great glee in surfing the choir chairs to the back. Once he came down to the pews, I dragged him out, despite his go-limp-as-a-ragdoll resistance.
Last week was very difficult, too. But his teacher had prepared some activities to keep him busy during opening exercises (about 30 children all gather to sing songs, etc., I have told his schoolteachers numerous times that this arrangement is NOT negotiable), before they dismissed to separate classrooms. So I could rest a bit after I was sure he was settled, and not once did Primary leadership come to get me during the next two meetings.
However, for the past four weeks, I’ve had to use an electrostim device, which Cimmy sets up for me in one of the mother’s rooms, set just off the stage of the cultural hall. It is the less active of the two, so it’s less likely that someone will come in and see Cimmy attaching electrodes to my bared backside. (Our meetinghouse does not have a spare handicap-accessible restroom where a caregiver of opposite gender may assist someone.)
I’m crashing hard, so I will not be able to finish this post as well as I’d like in a manner that is probably timely for anyone to ever bother reading it. All I have left to say is that my father bawled out my grandfather Marine (Mom’s dad) last week for hounding me so much about my weight. Titanium balls, I tell you. He may not have nerves of steel, but given how much his nerves hurt him, I’m truly amazed at how well he can put on a good face and not chew everyone to bits. I mean, I can’t… yet. I might not grump publicly but I grouch and bitch and moan in private about how badly I hurt. He does, sometimes, but a hell a lot less than I do. So these days I think he’s tougher than my crusty old Marine grandfather.
Atonement with the Father. Fatherhood is important to me, no matter how jaded or bitter society can be about it sometimes. And some days, I want a little more public respect. Sundays are damned hard sometimes, you know? But I go, I go for my children, and for me, and for Cimmy. I go because they mean a lot to me and maybe someday it will reap more intrinsic rewards. But I want a little acknowledgment, even if it’s “my father was an abusive ass/negligent bum/absent idiot, but props to your hard work, sir.”
Oh, and please let me deck Madison Avenue so hard that they start advertising to dads. I like to read about how I can be a better dad, but not when ads say, “Mom, Mom, Mom, Hey, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, oh yeah… hi Dad, Mom, do this Mom, Mom, give us your money, Mom, it’s good for your kids, Mom, oh yeah, maybe talk to Dad, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom.” Damned soulless marketing fools.