As tough my mother was on my father throughout their lives together, and it wasn’t all misdirected, this Father’s Day, I pay homage to my husband, the father of my children. He is a truly good man, dedicated father, devoted husband. And yes, sometimes, he drives me nuts. And yes, he works all most of the time. But it’s for the good of many. Trouble is, I can’t help but see my mean frustrated mother shining through as I berate my husband for some perceived shortcoming. And then I pause, mostly, because it is father’s day. But of course, he’s not my father. I’m the mother of his children. They are the ones that should be celebrating their father.
I halt my fury on the heels of Sandra Tsing Loh’s not so subtle message re marriage in the July/August issue of The Atlantic, the friend you wrote about not long ago here and Sunday’s NY Times Style Section review of single-mothers-to-be memoirs by Christine Coppa, a 28-year-old blogger and freelance writer; and by Rachel Lehmann-Haupt, a 39-year old journalist.
On the one hand, I can’t help but express my profound respect for single mothers, some by choice, others not. Circumstances aside, their courage and commitment to their children is to be celebrated. But on father’s day, I am reminded of my good fortune to have partnered with a person with whom I share the joys and travails coupled with a smidge of personal and financial expense that comes with raising children. It’s not so easy. But neither is marriage. Just ask Sandra Tsing Loh. Like anything, raising kids takes work. and a lot of it. No matter who’s in charge.