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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Please pardon me. My visions are skewed.

When I was a child, my dad would place a box of donuts outside our quaint doorstep then claim that Mark the
flying, magical horse delivered them especially for our family. He also claimed a whale named Wally lived in the Great Lakes, and a pelican named Peter could fly my brother, sister, and I in his pouch to Florida to see our grandparents in the winter. Two Oreo-eating elves named Orie and Dorie lived behind our dog's ears, and the spider sometimes in the corner is Sammie.

We watched the The
Cosby Show, Highway to Heaven, and Beverly Hills 90210 together, swam in the lake, played ball, rode bikes, went for boat rides, and built art projects. My dad crafted bunk beds, swing sets, basements, several sheds, a sunflower garden.

He took me to Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and I wrote an article about the experience so he had it published in the city paper.

My dad makes a mean lightly breaded, lightly fried perch filet. His worst quality is his sweet tooth.

I have confessed my deepest mistakes to and shared my most profound victories with both my mom and my dad.

When I call home, I know one of two people who love me to high heaven will answer the phone. My dad is unequivocally available to me by cell phone, home phone, work phone, and e-mail 24/7. In fact, my mom, siblings, and I playfully mock his devotion to his children while nestled around the fire feasting on soup, cheese, and bread during warm and toasty holiday reunions.

Thank goodness he's coaching high school football lest he lose himself to his children's adulthood, and yet my-adult-self could halt his entire hometown game at Homecoming if need-be.

Okay okay okay.
Footsteps was right. During my times of great sorrow, my father has carried me through.

It's amusing only when it's so delightfully true.

Please don't misunderstand. There is no perfection. One Christmas, my dad drank too much whiskey and said some stupid things. His cholesterol is spiky, and he falls asleep during movies. Sometimes, when the conversations continue past about an hour, we know he's no longer listening. His keys, loose change, and socks make stylish places crappy. He doesn't fold clothes well. Recently, he suggested that he's stellar because he changed for my mom...

This is a slice of patriarchy and it’s comforting but bittersweet and chalky tasting until lucky love is not peppered with privilege. My sense of idealism is tainted with the pure privilege of being born into one of the floating concepts of the nuclear, American Dream in synchronized motion, and the *Dream* was created to work for certain mostly-white-men, and it turns out that one of those mostly-white-men is my dad.
Ding ding ding ding ding.

The dream may vary.

My mom and dad may be your dad and dad or mom and mom or sister and grandma or teacher and friend or boss and dog or coffee barista and neighbor or child and plant or boyfriend and BFF. Heck, it may be your whole congregation of worship.

You may hate donuts and horses and lakes and elves and sunflowers and Take Your Daughter to Work Day.

It's more than possible you don't have a father.

But you're never hungry. You laugh often inside and out and feel periods of mild to full contentedness if you're dwelling in the notions of the *Dream.* More or less, your life progresses. Neither of your parents abused you, and while they raised you to slit your own throat rather than fight wars with violence, they'd abolish any soul who'd ever try to burn you down.

You'd rather be you than anybody.

The dream may vary.

The unconditional love bubbling at the root does not.


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