Family is different for everyone. It’s not limited to blood, and sometimes people who are related to you aren’t family. Whether you believe in nature or nurture, you’re doomed to be weird (in some way) like the people who contributed your genetic makeup/ raised (or helped raise) you.

Sometimes that seems horrifying (especially when you’re a teenager) sometimes it’s funny. Eventually you realize your parents are just people, imperfect like the rest of us, and if you’re lucky you can love them for it, just like they love you.

Because it was Father’s Day last Sunday, I was thinking of the things my dad gave me. Like the line I draw through the middle of my sevens, like he does. I also sometimes add lines to other people’s sevens, which is very probably a quirk all my own.

*   *    *    *    *

To My Father

You carried me on your shoulders

when I was small

and longing to feel tall

You carved out time

sometimes in the strangest places

but your friends were nice

to me

even when I wasn’t nice

to them

You shopped for clothes

I kept outgrowing

and braved the feminine hygiene

aisle

like it was nothing

to be embarrassed about

You balanced what I needed

with the occasional cotton-candy

indulgence

Thanks for that

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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