I don’t know who I am writing to.
Or who Amazon is referring to when they alert me to order your gift in the next two hours if I want it delivered on time.
I don’t know what this loaded term, this special designation of “father” means. Does it mean that you are the sperm to my mothers egg or is that irrelevant, superfluous even? Maybe it’s sorta kinda relevant and makes you a certain percentage of a father maybe? Can someone be 50 percent father?
Do you get half of a gift for that or just anything that’s half off?
Is the most important factor that you are physically here? What happens if you leave, willingly or unwillingly? Does that matter? If you leave willingly, do you forfeit your “father” designation or do you get that designation forever, despite that or any action?
What, if anything, can strip you of your title?
Is it most important that you’re married to my parent? What if you get divorced? What then? Does it matter if the marriage is short or long?
Is this designation of “father” fluid or solid? Given or chosen?
Are you a loss if I never knew you? Half a loss if I kind of knew you? What do I grieve if I don’t know you? What is the loss that I lost?
I don’t know the answer to any of these questions. Maybe it’s a decision that every child makes, who their father is or isn’t.
Whether it’s one or many. Whether it’s a title to be assumed or earned. Whether some action or inaction can strip them of the privilege.
And I suppose it is every mans choice whether or not to apply for the role in one form or another. What they do or don’t do in that role, what they offer or withhold, what they give or take, is up to them.
I know that it is a certain kind of music. Unable to be written but unmistakable when heard. It beats soft and loud, hot and cold. It can be stirring or soothing or both. It can hurt or heal and often, both. Notes that contradict, somehow meld together.
And only a particular set of instruments can create this melody. Me and you.
It is a dance. There is one who leads and one who follows. One who wonders and one who answers. One who gives and one who takes. One who forgives and one who is forgiven. One who leaves and one who stays.
And there are many turns to be taken, by both.
And sometimes the song plays when there is simply no one to dance with.
And all you can do is listen, learning to sway with whatever it is and whatever it isn’t.
Author: Jenny Spitzer
Editor: Renée Picard
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