Sunday, June 15, 2008

Your Dad

It's Father's Day kids.  So my question is this: what the hell are you doing reading my lame blog when you should be hanging out with your dad?  Unless you are reading this blog with your dad, then it's cool.  But seriously, go call him right now.  I'll wait...




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...all done?  That's cool.  I know that you talked to your mom longer on Mother's Day but that's okay.  It's the thought that counts.  A lot of fathers aren't that talkative anyway, at least not on the phone.  They'd rather be building a tree fort or restoring a '69 Camaro than chit chatting on the phone.  And that's okay.  Maybe they are outside, manning the grill for a big Father's Day cookout, wearing a silly apron that says "Kiss the Cook," the sun beating down on his rapidly graying and thinning hair, cold Miller Genuine Draft Lite (he's watching his weight) in one hand, complete with beer cooler that says "A bad day of fishing is still better than a great day at work,"  and a set of grill tongs in the other, getting ready to turn the brats or maybe flip a burger.  Ahhh...yes, that's good stuff.  Sometimes they authorities get things right, putting Mother's Day in May when the flowers are blooming and putting Father's Day in June when the weather is just perfect for being in the backyard.  And generally there is no place that he'd rather be.  Surrounded by family and friends with good food, good beer, and the Royals on the radio.  
Even if your dad isn't into the scenario outlined above, that is cool.  You go and do whatever he wants to do.  Because he deserves a special day.  It's not easy to be a dad.  It's really not.  I know, there are a lot of piss poor fathers out there giving dad's a bad name.  But there are also a lot of men out there doing the right thing.  Sticking around to raise the kids regardless.  Raising children that aren't his.  The bottom line, what I am trying to say, is this:  There is a big difference between being a father and a dad.  We aren't here to honor the one who created you, we are here to honor the one who raised you.  That's dad.  And it's his day.
If it's the mother who makes the everyday working of life that click, by in large it's the dad who makes the memories.  You don't remember your mom packing your lunch into your sweet red Garfield lunch box every day, but you remember how your dad took you out fishing.  You remember your dad putting the swing set together for the first time in the back yard.  You remember the vein popping out of his forehead when the boat fell off the trailer on the way to your vacation cabin.  You remember him shaking down your boyfriend the first time he came to pick you up for a date.  And you don't remember, but he was so very proud when you were born.  This tough guy with the calloused hands and the scratchy beard turned into a big teddy bear the first time you were put in his arms.  And if you were his first, he was scared to death to break you, I guarantee.  Nothing brought him more joy than walking down the midway at the county fair, holding your one little hand while you held the ice cream cone in the other, with ice cream dripping all over your face and down your arm and all over your clothes.  He might have been gruff and annoyed by your messiness, but inside his heart was melting.  And he was working really hard to keep it together on the outside.
And so we honor the father.  Kids, remember that for the most part your dad is just trying to look out for you, keep you safe from harm, make sure you grow up to be smart and safe and successful.  It might seem like he's trying to cramp your style or ruin your fun, but he's just trying the shepherd you through on your way to adulthood.  So cut him some slack.  Nothing he ever did for you was ever done in vain, so make sure to return the favor a little bit.  Cut the grass so he can go fishing.  So out shopping so he can watch the race in peace.  Just make sure he's happy on this Father's Day.  Because he really does deserve it.  
So Happy Father's Day Dad!  Thanks for everything and I love you.

And Happy Father's Day to all the other fathers out there.  You're doing a heck of a job.  Enjoy your day.

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