by Adriana Villavicencio
Father’s Day. For some, the holiday is about celebrating dad with a tie and a well-cooked pernil. For some of us, though, Father’s Day can be a painful reminder that our fathers aren’t here – sometimes by his choosing, sometimes not. In either case, the week of weepy commercials featuring picture perfect fathers and stores stocked with cards about the best dads on earth can make someone without a father around want to hide until the third Monday of June.
But perhaps we should expand our notion of Father’s Day to include those who have been like fathers. Those who will not ever replace them, but who have contributed to our lives in the special ways that fathers do.
Often, these people are our very own moms. Twenty five percent of Hispanic children are raised by single mothers who must serve, out of necessity, as mother and father (and everything else) to their children. That’s why on Father’s Day, I celebrate my mom. I am thankful to my dad for giving me life, my proclivity to dance all night, and my penchant for clothes with flair and fancy shoes. But on Father’s Day, I celebrate my mother for all the gifts she gave and lessons she passed on.
You may not have taught me how to kick a ball around, but you taught me how to roll with the punches and stay strong in the face of adversity.
You may not have shown me how to build things with my hands, but you gave me the tools to create the kind of life that fills me with joy and inspiration.
You may not have taught me how to drive, but you taught me how to navigate through the windy roads and unexpected twists of life.
You never taught me how to tie a tie, but you taught me how to link, bind, and connect with people – heart open and hands reached out.
You never taught me how to swim, but you taught me how to fly on my own and without reservation.
You may not have taught me some things a father could have, but your love and support showed me where I could find them within myself.
To my mami and all the mothers who do it all every day, a belated Happy Father’s Day.
To learn more about Adriana, visit The Radical Ideas.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.