Sunday, June 15, 2008

On Father's Day

The Spousal Companion, not prone to bouts of excessive sentimentality, considers Father's Day pretty much yet another marketing tool of the greeting card companies. What can I say -- the woman's a cynic.

Despite the fact that she probably has a point, it is good to occasionally have a reason to think about things one might not normally take the time to consider.

My father and I don't see eye to eye on a lot of things. I've heard him tell the same old Navy stories until I can almost recite them verbatim. But every important thing I've learned about how to be a good person I've learned from him.

He taught me tolerance though he was raised in a place and time where intolerance was the norm. He supported my decisions even when he feared he'd sired an idiot. He was good natured and funny and showed me, through his relationship with our extended family, how families love one another.

I can never, ever, recall him having a fight or argument with my mother He is the most reliably dependable person I know. Growing up, I knew (for good or for ill) if he said something, it would be so. I never doubted for one minute that he loved me unconditionally.

And so when I became a father, that was the model I had before me.

Now fast becoming men, my boys are both smart, funny people -- strong-willed and not averse to telling me when they think I'm full of shit. And when they do, they are generally right. It goes without saying I'm incredibly proud of them.

For all that, I thank my dad.

It's easy to become a father, it's not so easy to be a father.

Happy Father's Day.


Dan Brekke said...

Great post, Doc. (You're not a post-doc, are you?)

Dan Brekke said...

(And let me add: It's strange that most bloggers I read, I have no idea what their past was. In your case, I can remember your folks from our growing up years. I really only have very episodic memories: from your house on Niagara Street (I don't know if I ever told you this, but that house was once occupied by good friends of my parents who moved out to the 'burbs at the same time we did), from your house in Crete, and last -- here's one for you -- from the time your dad drove out to pick you up from TCU at the end of the spring '73 term (I rode with your family as far as Tyler, then resumed my hitch-hiking trip east on Interstate 10). My impressions?

Well, vague disapproval of my presence, to be honest. Hey, I'm not arguing with that; it might have been an example of your parents' sound instincts. But at the same time, I also got a feeling that things were a little more sedate and under control with you and your parents than they were with me and mine. Yeah -- a curse to us both! Anyway, what you say is so true -- much easier to become a dad than to be one. I'm still learning.