Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day - The New Normal

What author, Cheryl Strayed, says about her husband as a father to their kids resonates with me through and through:

"It amazes me how my children get to take for granted what both my husband and I missed as kids--a dad whose unconditional love is ever-present, whose guidance and sacrifice and faith is in the air they breathe. This experience our children have is foreign to us and together we often marvel over it. Witnessing the way Brian fathers our children is transformation in action and it's brought about a healing in each of us that happened long after we both believed our father wounds were healed. Pondering this today, I thought of this talk he gave last year about his father and grandfather and why he does the work he does--beautiful work that's deeply connected to the ugliest parts of his life and our world. Darkness to light. Happy Father's Day to my dear sweet Brian--whose grit and grace I'm grateful for each day--and to all of you good men who became the great fathers you didn't have yourselves."

I've said a version of these words to Bryce Norman over the years. To see him parent our boys actively every day, as a strong, loving presence in their lives is to heal the wounds I developed as a child that resulted when my father made the choice, from my infancy, not to be a part of my life.
Every day, those wounds seem to diminish and heal away. They don't mean as much as they once did. I've come a long way in letting those old hurts go on my own. And Bryce Norman is my reward.
As a fatherless daughter, it is beyond magnificent to me that my new normal is a life in which my Zachary and Maxwell have a Dad who stayed.
It's no secret that I was raised by a glorious woman who did the job of both parents. I've written about my Mom endlessly on this blog. In the minutes before she died, my Step-Mom, Sue, held my mother's hand and promised to take over that job. And she has. Beautifully.
To all the Moms out there doing both jobs, Happy Father's Day. 
And to the Dads that stay and do the work, you are a treasure beyond description.

Yours in the quest for bliss,
The Happiness Detective

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