Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day, Dad

I wanted to write some sort of deeply moving post about my dad for Father's Day, but everything I drafted felt cheesy and forced. So instead, I'll just tell a story.

When my ex and I finally decided to separate, it was an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved. He signed a lease on a Saturday, and I immediately called home to talk to my mom, who'd been a constant source of support through everything. The only problem: I'd forgotten that my mom was out of town with her friends for the weekend. I remembered instantly when my dad answered the phone (something he only does if 1) my mom isn't home, and 2) he isn't too busy watching an auto race on TV). 

I was a little scared to tell my dad that the separation had officially arrived. I had assumed my mom told him that my ex and I were talking about separating, but I had never actually talked to my dad about the possibility, or any of the problems in my marriage, for that matter. My dad is a pretty black-and-white thinker, and I was worried that he'd tell me that I had to stick things out at all costs, that I'd said "I do" and there was no going back on that. 

I started to cry as I told him that my ex was moving out, bracing myself for his response. I waited and listened, and then found myself surprised. His voice softened as he sympathized with me, calling me "sweetie" and letting me know that whatever my decision, he and my mom would support me in it. I was relieved. I don't think he realized what a gift he had given me just then: the freedom to make the decision that was best for me and know that my parents would be there, no matter what.

In retrospect, I should have expected him to react this way. He's always supported me in my major life decisions. My fear was irrational, based more on my own judgments of myself than anything else. 

Nevertheless, on this Father's Day, I want to stop and say "thank you." Thanks, Dad, for surprising me and reminding me why Robin and I really are two of the luckiest daughters around.

4 comments:

Caroline said...

Yay Dad! What a great story. I love it when the ones we love surprise us in their reactions - why we get nervous about those things sometimes amazes us in retrospect, but it is so nice when our love is confirmed and given back to us. Very nice story, completely lacking in cheese. xo

Scott McClelland said...

Thanks Sweetie. A gift from the heart lasts forever and is never forgotten. Every year I tell you and Robin that I don't need anything for Father's Day. The reason is that just having the chance to see you grow into the wonderful young women that you are now is gift enough to last a lifetime. I have never gone wrong by believing in my daughters and I never will.

fortunecookiejunkie said...

Almost three weeks after I moved out of my house following my separation, I received a card from my father that had a woman walking a bulldog on the front. On the inside it said, [insert name] "was so tough she had a bulldog on her poodle skirt." My dad has always been supportive of my choices (both of my parents have), but this was a more overt show of support than I was expecting.

Katherine said...

I totally agree with what Caroline said. Many times it seems like we're hardest on ourselves and afraid of disappointing the ones we love - especially our parents. It's so easy to forget they're there for us unconditionally and our prouder of us than we realize. Even when we are all grown up. And Allison, now I want a skirt like that :)

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