Have you seen Coraline? It’s one of Max’s favourite movies, and mine.
Spoiler alert! In the movie, Coraline – an 11-year-old girl with busy parents who ignore her – discovers a secret door in her apartment and crawls through into a parallel universe. There, she finds her “Other Mother” and “Other Father,” who treat her like a princess. But all is not what it seems… Muhahahaha.
Okay, I’m getting off track. Truth is, I’m only bringing this movie up because I, too, have an Other Father. (Oh, and Coraline’s Other Father sings a totally wicked song: Listen to it.)
As you know, my father – the original one – is off in his own parallel universe. Which he often was in life too, come to think of it. (If you knew Jim Combden, you know I speak the truth.)
And today, Father’s Day, surely you expected me to be writing all about him. Some tear-jerking tribute to the man who taught me to put pen to paper in the first place.
But no. Not this Father’s Day.
This Father’s Day, I’m writing about my Other Father.
I returned to work after maternity leave in April, 2010. Just three months after dad died. Talk about a cyclone of emotion. Losing my dad… Leaving my baby for someone else to care for all day long… And don’t get me started on the hemorrhoids… WTF?! The first morning I walked back in to the office, I thought the place was empty, but everyone was just hiding under their desks in case I was wielding a rifle.
I remember asking a question to my friend and colleague/cartoonist, Kevin Tobin, who posted this in this weekend’s Evening Telegram, by the way. He nailed the noble Combden nose pretty good.
Kevin had already lost both his parents. I asked him something like – What do I do now with dad gone? What happens when they’re both gone? Who am I then? What the fuck, Kevin? WHAT THE FUCK!?
(By the way, KT is not my Other Father. In case you were going there in your head.)
After I stopped shaking him like I was getting crumbs out of a toaster, he did give me a bit of fatherly advice that I have never forgotten. He looked me right in the crazy mom-eye and said, “Now, you focus on your own family. You are the parent. Max is the child. Life goes on.”
But, but, but… I’m just a baby! WAAAAAAAAH!
That’s how I felt inside. But I knew he was right.
So today, my third consecutive fatherless day, instead of whining on about dad for a thousand years, I write about my Other Father.
Not my Other Father, per se.
But the Other Father in my world.
The father who matters most now.
Because he is helping me raise this crazy kid. Helping me shape this fiery lunatic into a decent human being who helps old ladies cross the street and says no to drugs and becomes a neurosurgeon to help supplement mommy’s pension and shoe collection.
And because he’s here. As lovely as my tributes to Jimmy Combden are, he can’t hear me. (And no, religious freaks, I really don’t think he can. And I’m okay with that.)
The Other Father can hear me. (Although I do think his hearing is on the fritz at times, especially during NHL and PMS.)
The Other Father is this fool right here.
Patient husband. (Phew.)
Kind soul. (Ask anybody.)
And a damn fine partner at Turbo Ginger Incorporated.
For a more in-depth, stalker-esque glimpse into my husband and his kick-ass parenting skillz, click here.