I’m not much for celebrations, I don’t celebrate my birthday, graduation or any other occasion where I might be the center of attention. I don’t even like to celebrate Christmas. All of this can be traced back to childhood traumas involving being the only child, and grandchild, and therefore being the absolute center of attention for everyone. People staring at you in gift giving ceremonies just waiting to see that expression of pure happiness and surprise in my face when they suffocated me with stuff I didn’t want relating to things I expressed any kind of interest in. The funny thing is that they thought they listened to what I wanted when in fact they didn’t listen to me at all. My tape recorder/radio I had in my windowsill broke, so I wished for a new one for my birthday. The morning of my birthday I woke up to an enormous package in christmaswrapper sitting on the floor in the middle of my room containing a double decked tape recorder/radio/cd-player with external (big) speakers. Let’s just say that it didn’t fit my windowsill, in fact I needed to rearrange my whole room in order to fit it in. It had too many functions and I ended up using it less than my old radio. It was a show-off piece to suite my parents needs, not mine. I didn’t want to show off to anyone, I just wanted my old radio back. Together with the stereo I also got a stack of CDs. 20 double CDs with classical music. Because I “liked classical music” (I played classical pieces on my recorder because let’s face it, it’s hard to find music sheets with contemporary music written for recorders…). To this day I’ve only listened to one of the CDs. I don’t think I’ve ever received a gift I actually asked for unless I have bought it myself (which is what I’ve been doing for the last ten years). The things I’ve asked for have always been traded in for something bigger and better regardless of my feelings and it has left me feeling really anxious about surprises. It’s hard to put on that “omg I’m so happy for this gift”-face when you know you will feel disappointed every time.So for me any celebration is just a crappy reminder of how little people who should care about me actually care about ME and my feelings.
For my wife’s family the first Mothers/Father’s Day is an important day to celebrate, and the tradition is to give something of significance. In other words it contains every thing I dislike about celebrations. But the prospect of celebrating my very first Father’s Day actually appealed to me. To me it seems like celebrating fathers day actually is a good reason for a celebration because for me being a father is an accomplishment. We’ve tried to conceive for ten years and just when we were about to give up, we succeeded! Our baby isn’t genetically mine, I had to go through an adoption to be her parent with the whole process of turning my life inside out to the assigned social worker. I wasn’t born male, but here I am – a proud (and legal) father to my baby! Every step of the way has been a struggle and coming this far is certainly worth celebrating.
When my wife cautiously asked me what I wanted to do for Father’s Day, she was flabbergasted with my answer. I think she asked me four times “so it’s ok if I buy you a gift and make you breakfast in bed??” And when I answered that she could buy me anything she wanted, as long as it’s not socks or ties, she looked at me in disbelief and said “are you sure?” The sentence “who are you and what have you done to my husband” also came up a few times…
In the end I had a really great day! Pancakes for breakfast (but not in bed), a new watch and a precious handmade Father’s Day card with our baby’s footprints shaping a heart. It was just us in the family and it felt so special, I felt so special. It was by far the best celebration of any kind I’ve ever had! I actually had such a nice day that I forgot to call my dad and didn’t think of it until two days later. I refuse to let that taint my special day. I forgot, so what. I can call him next year, this year was just for me!