I am not a father. I don’t want a kid, necessarily, but I want a son or daughter. I am not jealous of screaming babies, or crayon markings on walls, or changing diapers, but I want a child falling to sleep on my chest, maturing under my loving care. I want to feel saline streams, gushing torrents of joy, in a delivery room. I want take him or her to the zoo and when they point at an ibex and asked what is that, I want to give them an answer — even if I have to read it off the goddamn wall. I don’t want a human accessory, I want that piece of me that is unabashed, unlimited love to take form, and yeah, maybe also dress him or her up in adorable threads.
I want a partner in this endeavor, too. Somebody so grounded and so in love with me that we understand and tolerate and exalt and enhance each other, and our love makes life better like a permanent Instagram filter is placed over our eyes. Cry together. Laugh together. Put our heads together to figure out just what to do when Lilly Em cries because she doesn’t think anybody else in school likes her; or Diego starts smoking pot behind our backs — like we don’t know what that smell is or why sometimes he comes home and his eyes are squinting like little demon holes.
There’s a primal, sacred place in my soul that is waiting to be filled with the hardest work I’ll ever know.
Without my dad and his guidance and patience I would be lost, not that I’m found necessarily, but at least I have a pretty dependable compass for the wandering. He raised me when he didn’t have to. I was a sneaky sperm that snuck past a diaphragm and there were long discussions about what to do with me. He didn’t take an easy out. This was the 70’s and they had three kids already, they missed out on many a swinger party and cocaine binge I’m sure. They could have made an appointment to the doctor to vacuum me out and save themselves a ton of headaches over the years… and $$$! (One thing I have a natural talent for is causing headaches and wasting money.) But they didn’t, and here I am, your faithful poet-philosopher, wanderluster. And for that, I’m eternally indebted. It’s our species’s duty to pay this one forward.
Make no mistake, Father’s Day is bullshit, just like Valentine’s Day and Easter it’s just another made up instrument of the Institution… still, unlike the Easter Bunny and romantic love, father’s ARE real (just kidding). Kidding not kidding. Still, fathers deserve to be appreciated and celebrated. They deserve respect and love every single day, and if it takes a Hallmark holiday to remind some of us to do it, then that’s okay. And if you have to clog Instagram with vintage photos of your dad or your husbands with your adorable children then that’s okay today.
One day, I’ll annoy you too. 🙂
Peace and Philippe Pateks, my proud papas.