Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy father's day

I was that one, and my father, flawed in the manner of all those cursed with opposable thumbs, was more than a presence. Judged against the void of paternity around us, he was fanatical. This was as much by choice as by chance; I was the sixth of seven kids born to four women. Some of us were born to mothers who were best friends. Some of us were born in the same year. It was all a tangled mess on paper, but measured against "Family Ties" or even "The Cosby Show," it was love, and it formed my earliest and most enduring sense of family.

We were not allowed to refer to each other with the prefix "half" (as in "half-brother" or "half-sister"), as Dad always told us that the half gets in the way, and when the mother of one spoke, it was law, as sure as if the mothers of all were speaking at once.

That's from today's Washington Post. Is it just me or are our newspapers getting much better?

1 comment:

DC Mail Vigilante said...

Well, I'd put much of the credit on Ta-Nehisi Coates's shoulders. He's awesome.