Sunday 19 June 2011

Happy Fathers Day

Well, I guess today should be about Father’s day. I am not really a big fan of Father’s Day, but I can appreciate the kids (really “the wife”) want to show just how they feel about dear old dad. Personally I think it is just an attempt at a cash grab from the card companies. I am sure that the restaurants love it (dad pays) and electronic, sports and tool stores (dad eventually pays), but does dad? Mother’s day is a different kettle of fish because she is always the “go to” guy and much more nurturing. Rarely do you hear a mom say “Don’t be such a poof, shake it off!” Dad’s are the heavies, “Just wait till your father gets home!” Poor dad gets home and is expected to be angry about something that happened in the morning. Quite possibly dad had taught little Johnny to pee against the tree in the first place.

For me I would just as soon be left alone for the day. Instead it’s go to the zoo or play catch or take everyone on a drive to the country. We all know how much fun driving with the family for extended periods can be. Oh, and when you are on your back under a car with all sorts of oily grit dripping in your eye and someone asks if you want to play catch, the only right answer is “uhhhh…sure…in a minute OK?” Sometimes it never happens.

You know, I don’t remember all of the good times I had with the kids, but I sure remember when I let them down. I still worry about those times. I was too hard on them, trying to instil what right and wrong was. Now I see that in some ways I deprived my children some of the fun in being a kid. I would have liked to take them to amazing places and done incredible things with them, but I didn’t. I was busy and didn’t have a lot of money left over from the essentials. Whenever we did get ahead it would be eaten up pretty quickly by the unexpected things. I gave of my time in scouts, soccer, band parents and trying to be there for important school events. I guess I tried to be a good dad, but it is one of those things that are hard to quantify.

The children have turned out to be impressive adults that I can honestly say I am proud of. Not all the time of course, but by and large I would like to count them as my friends. That isn’t possible though. We are friendly and have laughs together but I don’t think we will ever be just friends. Too much history I guess. When you have punished someone that didn’t deserve the punishment or when they lied to you for no good reason, it is difficult to forget. There is the generational gap as well. Just as my mom and dad never really “got” the Beatles I just don’t “get” rap and hip hop. Some humour is that way too. My parents didn’t get Saturday Night Live and for the life of me I can’t get “Borat”. My problem I know.

I often think that I would have loved to know my dad before he had us kids. The eighteen year old guy that became a bomber pilot during WWII, was shot down over Germany and spent the next three years in a German prisoner of war camp. I didn’t say that he became a great pilot. He had a great sense of humour and judging by what people said to me when he died he was well loved. Happy Father’s Day dad!

I think that young men change when they take on the mantle of fatherhood, just as surely as young women change when they become mothers. For men I think that the knowledge that they need to provide for this family for the next thirty years is quite a weight to carry. That at least is the way that it has been.

Today times they are a changing, and it takes two to support a family and the stereotypical roles are merging into one. Parent! Maybe in the future there will just be Parent Day, but until then I would like to thank those that wished me a Happy Fathers Day and I will try my best not to let you down in the future.


  1. Too hard on yourself Ken, which is probably why you were on just a good dad, but a great dad!! - Drew

  2. Nice of you to say, but if I knew then what I know now, there is a very good chance that I would have sold them. I don't think they are saving enough to put me in that really expensive old age home, more like a insulated garage.