When Fathers Fall Somewhere Between Awesome and Absentee
Father's Day can be a dilemma when you have a complicated relationship with your dad.
Aren't there Father's Day cards--more importantly, isn't there a category in our collective understanding of fatherhood--for men in their 60s who are still growing up? For troubled men who have become less so, but remain troubled? For men who aren't absent, but aren't reliable either? Can someone deliver a motivational speech to them? Can we, their daughters, get a mentor this weekend?
Dad sent an e-mail last month: ''Jenée, need your address for your birthday gift.'' He never remembers my address. I wasn't surprised when the gift didn't arrive. Another e-mail: ''I'm thinking of something that might help you get your writing out there. It's called social networking. Have you heard of it? Oh, and are you familiar with text messaging?'' My phone beeped with a notification from his number: ''I am so proud of you. XOXO. Dad.''
Maybe, instead of a card, I'll just send a return text.
It might say something like, ''You're complicated. You keep trying. I know you love me. And I love you, too.''
Jenée Desmond-Harris is a regular contributor to The Root.