Pater Carissime

Dear Dad, 

When I interviewed Mom for Mother’s Day you asked when it’d be your turn, so I figured I’d write this little letter for Father’s Day to even things out.

10468436_10203656599962890_1133368201088926937_nMost importantly, I want you to know how glad I am to have a father like you. You have always cared about us and provided for us in a way that I don’t believe is common. Of course I’m grateful for all of the support that you’ve given me in terms of things that cost money, but I know that all of those things were only possible because of how much you care.

The life I have is only possible because of the love you and Mom have for me (and for each other), and how much that love has driven you to work the way you do to be able to build the life that you have.

I don’t think I really understood that growing up. I don’t think I really understood you growing up. I know that there were a lot of times when I hurt your feelings and I’m sorry for that. I think it started when I began blossoming into a lovely tween. I know we all had a lot going on, but I didn’t have to be like that.

I leveled a lot of things out by the time I got to high school, but I do remember crying when you called to wish me luck before I tried out for the cheerleading team. At the time I was surprised by how emotional it made me, but I think it was because I wished we got along better. Somewhere in there I knew there was no good reason for us not to be close.

When I was younger, I didn’t get why you were so particular about certain things. I joked (and still do sometimes) about how you’d rearrange the dishes in the dishwasher or prohibit guests from wearing pointy heels in the house to protect your floors, but now I know those tendencies come from that same place of wanting to take care of everything you’ve earned and made and built and loved. Just so you know, I rearrange the dishes in the dishwasher now too.

1930282_57789600611_5367_nWe might not agree on everything and we might not talk every single day, but we get along well enough for it to annoy Mom at least a little bit every time I come home. I like that. We’re guarded in the same ways, which makes it harder to be straightforward about our feelings, but I think we get each other. I like that too.

Sometimes I worry that the things I write might hurt your feelings, that when I talk about men and misogyny you might think I’m pulling from the way I feel about you. I worry that you might wonder if I think I have a bad life or had a bad childhood, but I promise neither are true.

I’m doing all this because I want to do everything I possibly can to help change things for the better for all women. I know life is pretty ok for me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not subject to plenty of gross behavior and roadblocks. I know that these types of things are much more severe for other women, most women, and it makes me sick. These words run through my mind at least once a day and I swear to god they make me feel stronger and more determined every single time:

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.” – Audre Lorde

68027_4650414345701_1595629291_nYou and Aaron are good men. I couldn’t be prouder to call you my family and I hope you feel the same way about me.

Anyway, I mostly want to say that I love you. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such a wonderful family. You are my best friends and my strongest safety net. I can’t wait to spend Father’s Day with you.

Love,

Madelaine

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