Mother' Day- A Love Letter to My Dad and to My Love

I haven't blogged in quite awhile, instead, I've been using twitter and facebook to say what I had to say. Mother's Day was a few weeks ago and it left me with remembrances that need more than just a few characters to get out. My mother's day was wonderful,probably the best I ever had. Many who know me might think I took some fabulous trip or got some great gift, but I didn't. It was very simple and that is mainly because my sweetie took control. He insisted that mom's get one day a year--even when my teen pushed back and in her own teen way, tried to make it about her. (Because that is what teen's do). I had breakfast in bed, saw the movie I wanted the family to see together (its funny how my mother's day wish was about EVERYBODY seeing this one movie), and had the dinner I chose at a place I wanted--sushi. It was perfect. I was able to start my week so relaxed that I felt like a different person. What sticks in my mind about Mother's Day though, is memories of my father. I was raised by my father after losing my mother at an early age. I'm not remembering him on mother's day through some rose-colored glasses. He was by no means perfect, but he was able to make me laugh on Mother's Day, every year. We had an on-going joke that happened quite by accident--an accident of unfortunate word placement on my part as a young child. I think I was always a glass-half-full person. When everyone was making a big deal of mother's day, it could have been very sad for myself and my younger brother, but it wasn't. I was about 8 or 9, and decided to make my father a mother's day card. He was, after all, both to us. I used construction paper, crayons and my best (non-existent) art skills to come up with what I thought was the best mother's day card ever. I was so proud as we presented it to him, but perplexed when, after reading the wording, he wasn't as happy as I was. Somehow, he didn't like my greeting. "Happy Mother's Day, to the best mother-father there is." In my innocence, I asked, "What's wrong with that?" It took me a few years to get it, but when I did, I made sure I greeted my father that way each and every mother's day. Like I said, he made his mistakes, but I learned to appreciate my mothering where I could get it, no matter if it came from my father or some other relative. Years later, when my daughter was first born, I would be offended when it was suggested that I couldn't know how to be a mother because I didn't have one (yes, someone almost got cussed out). They would never know that my father, with all his faults, had worked very hard to fill the big shoes of a mother while still being my daddy. I was offended in graduate school when, on learning that I'd been raised by my father, a professor asked me "Was he A BLACK?" as if it were an impossibility that a Black man would take care of his children. (and yes, he almost got cussed out, too). Men can nurture. Black men can nurture AND be responsible for their kids. It doesn't make them soft, it makes them loving parents, husbands and partners. I am fortunate enough to have experienced several such men in my life, and every mother's day, I thank them.

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