Today is Father's Day in Australia.
It's a fabulous day.
It's a complicated day.
Some people have wonderful fathers and wonderful husbands who are amazing fathers. Some people get a mix of that. There is no way to explain to someone who doesn't share your history just how beautiful -- or painful -- the notion of "father" can be.
One thing I do know, though, is that for most of us, we outlive our fathers.
And that means something important:
Actually, we have the freedom to choose about everything. Whether it's fathers, mothers, children, even about ourselves: we can choose our memories.
Sometimes it's good to just let them go.
I remember a story my sister told me. She was a solo parent working full time as a primary school teacher, and on this particular day there was a big book fair in the gym at her school. Her son was in year one, just six years old. She remembers Teddy standing at her classroom door after school, asking to go to the book fair, but for some reason, (a staff meeting? something?) my sister couldn't leave her classroom to take him and she had to say no. She cried when she told me the story. She said she never forgot -- as a teacher, as a solo parent, as a mum -- what it was like to do an excellent job of taking care of everyone else's kids while her own stood at the door.
But here's the thing: when Ted was all grown, she asked him this: Do you remember the day when I couldn't take you to the book fair?
A shrug. Nope, Mom, relax. You were a good mom. I don't even remember it.
Oh, our memories of family, of fathers, of successes, of mistakes: we can choose what to keep and what to throw away.
So, if you're in Australia, Happy Father's Day to all the guys like this one. (Oh wait...there's only one Luther in Australia...my one. Happy Father's Day, babe. You've done a fabulous job raising these two awesome boys with me.)