Monday, June 20, 2011
Really? It's 2011 and my choices of Father's Day card themes are limited to: golf, BBQ, fishing and home repairs? That's it? Let me tell you something: I have had two fathers, any number of father figures, and one husband who is a father, and they simply do not fit into any of your tidy (and oh, so stereotypical) categories.
While it's true that in his hey day my father-in-law could fix anything, that's not what made him a great father. And while it's true that my husband likes to golf, he seldom does. Why? Because he's too busy fathering. And while it's true my father was a father, he did none of the above, nor did he wear a tie (another favorite theme). And while he may have been a giant pain-in-the-ass, he also taught me a lot for which I am grateful. He did not father in any traditional sense, but he fathered. He was card-worthy.
Where are the cards that thank the men in our life for going to 1,001 appointments to behavioral/developmental pediatricians? Changing diapers for thirteen years straight? Teaching a teenager to ride a bike? Taking someone to Home Depot every weekend for a decade, to count fork lifts? Making garlic toast every morning at 6:00 AM for years? Sacrificing vacations, new cars, clothes, recreation, "fun" so that their children could have the best education possible?
I guess that puts them in the World's Best Dad category, but that rubs me the wrong way, too. Stepping up and parenting the kids you are given does not make you the "best." It makes you a parent.