Father’s Day has always been a weird holiday for me. When I was a baby, my parents got divorced. My father signed away his visitation rights and I grew up strong, happy, and not knowing who he was. You don’t miss what you don’t know, I suppose, and my father left when I was so tiny that I had no memory of him. My mom was everything for me. We were The Gilmore Girls but without…no, we were just The Gilmore Girls. Still are, most days.
My mom and I lived with my grandfather as I grew up, who was sort of a father, sort of a grandfather given the living situation.
I love my grandfather and appreciate everything he did for me, so much more so in my adulthood. He took on a hybrid role without question not only because he loved me, but also because it’s what fathers do for their daughters.
When I was in college, my mom started dating the man I call my dad and they got married when I was in law school. And while he has never tried to push himself into any role in my life, he easily became my dad.
He helped me move (more times than either one of us wants to remember), he fixed up my first car, he showed up to my college and law school graduations, he helped walk me down the aisle, he counseled me through my divorce, he is Jeffrey’s “big papa.”
Jeffrey is lucky to have a father who loves him very much and has helped made the transition to our new shared custody easy for him.
I started my life in a place of not really understanding why fathers were all that necessary. And if you had asked me growing up, that’s what I would have told you. But I realize as I get older that I’ve been constantly surrounded by loving, strong fathers, who have bolstered me and the people around me. It’s not always about biology. It’s not always about perfect circumstances. Fatherhood, much like motherhood, is about love and self-sacrifice and dedication. And that is worth celebrating.