It's Fathers Day and I wish every fine man who is considered a good father a wonderful day--whether or not you planted the seed that grew. You deserve it.
I understand some people have absolutely terrific fathers. Thank goodness these unsung heroes exist. There are too many of the other kind that make the local news. My own relationship with my father was...complex. When I was little he was my hero and I was daddy's little girl. As I grew up things changed. I was no longer adorable. In fact, as a teen I could be downright--ahem--challenging. (Who me?) Oh, yeah. Add to that the irksome truth that my dad and I were very much alike and uh-oh...powder keg. (Why, oh why, couldn't I have taken after my laid-back mother instead of my Type A father?)
Sure, there was that time he threatened to change the locks if I walked out that door--and of course I slammed it on my way out...but the locked weren't changed when I came home and all was forgiven shortly after. Oddly enough, we rarely talked these things through or apologized afterward. We simply understood that we had both acted like a**holes and didn't belabor the point.
Yet even though I drove him crazy, he was always there for me. He was a good provider. That term seems ridiculously inadequate. The man went to work every day without complaint, and he not only put food on the table and clothes on my back, but he also paid for my college education not once, not twice, but three times!
Between college experiences number one and number two, I came home with an infant. Other men might have said, "You made your bed...buy your own sheets," but not my dad. Without any discussion or demands, he provided for my daughter too. All I can say is, thank goodness my daughter took after my mom and not me or my dad!
She had some father issues too. Her bio father rejected her outright. Good riddance. He didn't deserve her. My second husband adopted her when she was six. He was, and continues to be, a wonderful dad. Not perfect, but pretty darn good. It wasn't her fault he and I didn't work out, but he and she did. My third (and final) husband is a good friend to her. He entered the picture when she was 13. He didn't want kids of his own, so he considered it a perfect situation. Someone else had done the hard part. He could just enjoy a great kid, take her to amusement parks, teach her how to drive and watch her turn into a terrific young lady.
When she has a problem, she's more apt to call him than me! Just like my dad, he's always there for her.
So, whether or not your father could have been the star of a 1950's TV show, there are probably good things you can find to say about him. I don't know if I thanked my dad properly while he was alive or not. I have the feeling he knew he did a good job. Still, I kind of wish I had made that clear.
If you're going to see your father today, sometime between the barbeque and dessert, be sure to tell him thank you for something specific. You'll make his day.