16 June 2013

Happy Father's Day

The marketing of Father's Day always amuses me. Take a look at the various themes in the greeting card rack: golf, barbeque, handyman, ties, television watching/hogging the remote, drinking beer, and even farting.

Why aren't there any with Dad reading a book? I know many men who love to read. Personally, I think the love of literature is a major asset for any parent. Is it too urbane for Madison Avenue's ideal father? From the range of selection now, you'd think every man out there is nearly a Neanderthal.

My dad in his office at work with my son in 1994.  Dad died three years later.

My dad read a lot, though I'm hard pressed at the moment to recall a memory of him just sitting with a book. Newspapers and magazines were his favorites. I don't think he had time or patience to commit to a full book on a regular basis. He ran his own business and was very active in community organizations like Rotary, Masons, Lions Club, and Shriners. He liked to go to Canada to fish every Memorial Day, and for years he dragged the entire family to the same fishing camp again at the end of July for the "family vacation" though none of us never had a vote about the destination. He didn't play golf, but he wore a tie six days a week (except in Canada). Being a handyman was a necessary chore, not a passion, and most times when he "fixed" things, a plethora of pieces-parts appeared and was deemed "extra stuff." Sometimes whatever he was

working on still functioned, but how well was another matter. Personally, I think his tinkering was all a grand plan to necessitate buying new gadgets/machinery. Seemed to work out real well for him.

A boy and his dad, 2010
My husband is somewhat similar. He's not handy with tools but he's great with accounting. He doesn't read books but peruses online newspapers and magazines daily. His passion is baseball, and many hours of our boy's growing years were spent playing The Game with his father. I know both of them treasure that time together, as exhilarating and yet frustrating as it could be. My husband didn't have much one-on-one time with his dad, so he made sure that was one family tradition he did not continue. He has a wonderful relationship he treasures with our son, who is rapidly approaching the age of leaving home to establish his own life, his own family. [Not too soon on the family part of that, please!]

So here's to the Dads out there: Have a grand day, celebrate the bonds you have with your children and if you love to read, especially enjoy some time alone with a good book. You deserve it.