Father’s Day – my least favourite celebration, but finally something positive

father's day

For everyone who has a great, still living father, Father’s Day is an enjoyable day. For everyone else it’s filled with grief and resentment.

I fall into the latter group.

I’ve never had a decent dad, just, as a psychologist once said, a ‘psychopath’. He turned up to make your life miserable and then disappeared. I broke this pattern as a teenager by cutting him off. I was tired of his attempts at manipulation and his disappointment that I wouldn’t succumb.

A few weeks ago I learned my paternal grandfather had died. My half-sister laughed at my immediate fist-pump reaction. The world is a much better place without him. He was the meanest person I knew. At the same time I found out my father was living it up in a tropical paradise having built himself a mansion with a swimming pool. Despite his material wealth, I hoped he was was emotionally miserable without contact with his family, including his daughters.

When looking at the fathers on both sides of my family I can come up with exactly zero model dads. All of them have either periodically or totally abandoned their children. (This at least partly explains why I forget that there are some nice men out there.)

Father’s Day has always been a reminder that good fathers are a rare breed and that envy is an ugly thing. But this year has been a little different. Instead of the annual negativity surrounding this day, I’ve seen a real life good father up close.

My brother-in-law became a dad to my niece in February. Nappy changing, burping, feeding – he does it all. He’s surpassed my admittedly rather low expectations. Not that I thought he’d be a bad father, just that ‘father’ is synonymous with ‘bad’ to me. He’s literally the best father I know, and I told him so. It felt wonderful to finally associate something positive with this annual celebration.

Image credit: Erin Lester/Getty

3 thoughts on “Father’s Day – my least favourite celebration, but finally something positive

  1. I fall into the latter as well. My father figure was my maternal grandfather, but he passed away years ago. My dad disconnected from the two of us when he married the woman we deemed the Stepmonster, and my stepfather was a joke of a person. I do love my paternal grandfather as well, and I always wished he was my dad instead of his son.

    *hugs* I feel your pain, and I am so sorry for what you had to go through with your father.


    1. I’m not a fan of my stepmother either. At least I have one great parent, some people don’t even have that.


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