I still wanted to get married and bring my children up with their dad. i still belived there were good men out there that did well by women. i had survived the ''i hate men' complex (oh i love men!!!) i'd noticed all my other girlfriends from single-mother homes had. And i didnt think of all men as pigs, just bse my father had chosen to be adulterous and condemn us to a life in a broken home. No. I was clearly a normal girl child. Almost as good as all the others even though I had never had the opportunity to call ‘daddy’
But on my graduation day it all came flooding out, For the first time I let myself think back on how we had gotten to that place with my mother; I stood up there, before everything she had so painstakingly prepared to share our achievement thus far and the image of her walking to and from town everyday until her shoe soles gave way glared at me;
I recalled when we were much younger and it confused me that when we said ‘mum I’m hungry’ she sometimes just angrily told u to go to sleep. Now I realize how hard it must have been for her to not be able to feed us;
How I had wished she would be like other mothers with the emotional liberty to hug us, cry when we fell instead of shout at us and just let up a little; I didn’t understand then that she didn’t have the liberty to be a normal mother since in essence she had not been allowed to be that; She had to be just mother enough leaving room for the fatherhood role too that my father couldn’t be b’se he was busy elsewhere. With another woman. And another family.
I had never been a child like many others b’se I’d had to have my brother’s back when mum was working away night and day to give us the good life she had dreamt she and my father would give us. always choosing the cheapest of everything for herself just to provide for us what we would have had if he too had been there. Making sure we lacked nothing so we couldnt miss him. even though she didnt know that in school our worst topic was any conversation about fathers.
It all flashed through my mind at that podium and I couldn’t help but cry torrents. Like I do every Father’s Day when i get sucked into everyone’s 'thank you, i love u dad' frenzy.I have long given up the bitterness and have by now outgrown the confusion. Instead, I shade tears of gratitude for the wonderful father my mother has been to us.
And this Father’s Day I will go out and for the first time buy and address a Father’s Day card
To the only father that I have known all my life.
And to all mothers that have been fathers too
Happy Father’s Day