Don’t Discount What A Dad DoesJune 20, 2010 No Comments
Everyone knows that Father’s Day was invented because people felt guilty about celebrating Mother’s Day and leaving Dad out.
After all, she washed our wounds, tucked us into bed and promised that it would all be ok by morning. He just brought home the bacon.
But it’s time we stop maligning our male parents and realize all that they do for us. Silently and mostly without thanks.
Typical of most families of my generation, both my parents worked but Dad worked more. Sometimes he would stay late at the office and sometimes he would go in on the weekends. The only real problem was when he would bring work home and we would bug him and nothing would get done.
It’s not like Dad wasn’t there. He was played with us a lot and we always had fun with him. I don’t recall ever wondering why he was at work or feeling like I was missing out on time with him.
But Mom ran the show. She cooked dinner, made sure the house was clean, kept track of our school permission slips and activities. Dad was an integral part of our family, definitely the Father, but he wasn’t the Ringmaster.
At least that is what I thought.
One day Dad and I were standing in the kitchen, eating sandwiches and talking when he mentioned a Jewish friend he had growing up.
“I always loved going over to his house in the mornings,” Dad said.
“One liners would zing past and someone would fire back just like that. They were all very smart and the house was always warm.
“I wanted to live in a house like that. I didn’t want to leave.”
And then we finished out sandwiches and went out into the yard.
I remember the story so well because it seemed like he was describing our family. Perfectly. My brother, dad and I drive my mother to distraction when we sit around the dinner table firing back and forth.
Somehow he had made my brother and I into his idea of a perfect family. (My mother is also part of his perfect family, just too sweet to waste her intelligence on zingers).
My Dad filled our lives with this camaraderie and comfort. He gave us what he wanted as a child and as a result gave us wonderful childhoods.
I hope we gave him the family he was looking for, because I can’t imagine a better gift, and it was the one he gave us every day.