When my father became terminally ill I was not to young to understand what was happening and what was going to happen but I pretended to be. But then I discovered that hiding from bad news doesn’t help. It finds you anyway.
So for about 10 years I didn’t really celebrate Father’s Day. Then came marriage and a father figure returned to my world in the person of my father-in-law. Our relationship was chilly at first but warmed over time. Reflecting on those early in-law days I can now see that he didn’t really know what to do with me and I certainly didn’t know what to do with him. But we both learned and things improved.
Then about eight years after my wife and I took our wedding vows my twins arrived and I suddenly became the real deal. Dad. Father’s Day took on a new meaning.
There have been ties and shirts and socks and cards and each have been splendid. But I learned one thing early and it was sobering then and sobering now: When you become a dad you are closely watched. Kids don’t always do what you say they always do what you do.
I eventually found myself trying to gather some of the hazy teenage and pre-teenage memories of my own father and mould them into nuggets of wisdom I could hand to my children. It’s been a sometimes frustrating and sometimes heartening mental exercise that remains on going.
Sunday, of course, is Father’s Day. If you’re a dad and your youngsters wish to shower you with attention; let them. (We secretly enjoy it anyway.)
If you can spend part of the day with your dad, do so. It will be good for both of you.