I was always a little sad on “family” commemorative dates. Like many here, I don’t have a margarine commercial family. (By the way, advertisers, let’s rethink these advertisements?)
My parents separated when I was very young and, as far back as I can remember, my father has lived a log way from me. We rarely get to spend Father’s Day together. It sounds silly, it’s just a date, but imagine a girl with a foot in the drama going through it year after year?
For a long time I blamed my father for this distance. If you’re reading this, Dad, forgive me. It’s easier for us to demand and expect an attitude from the other than to look inside and reflect on how we can contribute to this relationship being better. And it’s also easier to focus attention on absences than on the privileges we have in life.
It took me many years to understand that there is no such magic formula as a father, a mother, whatever. We create a stereotype in our head and get frustrated (almost always) when reality does not match expectations. I’m not talking about clearing the bars of absentee parents, who think that raising a child is a mother’s job and that’s it, but about trying to be more kind and understanding with each other’s way of loving.
That’s where the tolerance talk comes in. There is no better laboratory than the family to practice tolerance. Because if you don’t understand or agree with a friend’s attitude, you can just walk away. But family is hopeless: it will always be there, even if it is once or twice a year. And if we don’t learn tolerance, I guarantee you: we suffer.
So that’s it: if it’s still difficult to practice tolerance with others, do it for yourself. Believe me, a huge weight will come off your shoulders! When we stop focusing our attention on the hurts and absences (that existed or that we created), we open our eyes to see much further. To see the joys, the teachings, the union, the crazy things and all those things that are part of the family institution. Trust me: none are as perfect as the margarine commercial.
I wouldn’t trade my crazy family for anything. What is missing on one side is left over on the other. What hurt, made me stronger. Which was too good, made me kind of spoiled. Hahaha and so the universe is trying to give us a balance. I know that when I become a mother I will make a lot of mistakes and successes. I hope my kids have the wisdom to handle it well, and it doesn’t take me as many years as it took me to understand what real family is.