Monday, March 26, 2007

Father's Day and Everyday

I value my own father in so many ways.

There should indeed be a day to honor and remember our fathers. Probably should have one every day.

But gosh, in an era of sensitivity isn't it sexist to have a day just for the fathers who happen to be men? Shouldn't it be parents' day or something? Okay, so I'm being sarcastic. One of the things that we discarded like old shoes in the sixties was the idea of traditional roles. I'm not saying that's all bad - we were due for some updating. But what is a father now? Who do we think of as a great father? Is he your pal, or an example, or someone to spend weekends with? Is there an ideal today that fathers strive for?

In my own case, I was lucky enough to have a father that was supportive, yet not to be disappointed. He was proud, but told us when we were out of line. I don't remember a time when I didn't know that he was on my side. Much of the best in me was inspired and brought out by my dad.

Part of the difficulty with today is that it has become so difficult to be a father. Some dads and their kids just don't connect. Some fathers abuse their role. Some don't get to see their kids much. Some choose not to. Some fathers are grand. But all of us want a dad in some way akin to the old time ideal father - strong, firm in his beliefs, supportive, proud of us, tough, demanding - a reassurance throughout our lives.

Sometimes things become trite because they're true. The ideal of Father may have become trite, but is it at least partially because for the most part it represents the Dad so many of us respond to? A timeless role, Father, and one of probably the two most important jobs in the world.

Thanks, Dad.

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Sunshine on Discovery Bay

Sunshine on Discovery Bay
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