Saturday, March 21, 2009


This, from June of '07. It's proof, you see, documentation, that I'm telling the truth. Or if not, that my fraud is perfectly conceptualized. If I lie, it's all the time, and even I don't know about it. That's a sort of genius in itself, I'm sure you'll agree.

A year and a half ago N was in Baghdad. He's been home for over a year. All my worries are small, now, and only about myself.


I'd thought yesterday was Father's Day. But my son informs me via email that it's today. You've heard of my son, surely? My wonderful son? Yes, of course you have. Oh, by the way, while I happen to think of it, just off the top of my head it occurs to me that you might like to take a little peek at the email he just sent me, regarding Father's Day, which is today. Now let me see ... where is it ... I had it only a ... ah, yes, how careless of me -- here it is, that email from my son that I was just mentioning. Here's how it opens. Ahem:

Subject: fathers day

So I've decided to rate you a 10 out of 10 as a father. I know we don't say it much anymore, but I love you and I've always been proud to be your son. [...]

My posterity has risen up to call me blessed.

What's that you say? You'd like to hear my replying email? Well don't you suppose that's just a little intrusive? What's that? You'd be edified, and ever so grateful? I cannot be moved by your wheedling and pitiful importuning. I do however see it as my role in life to spread light and wisdom where ever I go. Therefore, I have decided to share with you my reply to my son's email. Ahem:

A ten, huh. I'd rate you about a six. ... Hahahahaha!!!!!

I kid. Yer a nine. You had a messy room. ... Hahahahaaah!!!

But seriously, folks... Thanks. Love covers a multitude of sins. It isn't making no mistakes that makes us good. It's our commitment and honesty and love. And you got as much of that as we had to give, your mom and I. Well, not always so much honesty, from yer mom. Aaah-hahahaaaaaaaaa!!! ... I'm glad that we laughed a lot. And I know you felt safe. Pass it forward. I want grandchildren. You have 20 months. Get busy... But seriously folks...
[...] Anyways, seeya. Love,


PS -- And you're a ten. :-)

He's right, isn't he. We don't say it much anymore. I love you. I think to say it. It just feels a bit awkward. Have we grown beyond the need for words? Or grown apart. Both, really. But love and its expression should not be a PS. It's a balance between implicit and expressed.

Instead, in a moment of imperfection, I used humor to deflect a sincere expression of my son's respect and love for me. An inauthentic response. I am forgiven such shortcomings. Fathers err. I will not be judged, in this thing, for my failures. I will stand on my success. In everything else, we fall short and are diminished for it. But my son can laugh at my foibles. His laughter is infectious, and I take it up, and we end up giggling like idiots over nothing.

I was really a nine. Love, as you see, covers a multitude of sins, and what is flawed becomes beautiful.


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