What makes a good Father’s Day?

father sonI was out with some close friends yesterday for Father’s Day and it got me to thinking about what makes for a good Father’s Day.

For a long time, my Dad has been “unavailable” for Father’s Day.  He and my Stepmom have had a regular get-together with close friends for many years (possibly decades).  So I usually have other or no plans for that day.

As far back as I can remember (which seems to be getting shorter every year), Dad and I haven’t done anything “special” on Father’s Day and by that I mean something costly.  It’s not as if Dad will let me pay for anything anymore, anyway (that’s a lot of “any’s”).

When I gave up a regular paycheck to become an impoverished author, I immediately went from successful son to unemployed son in my Dad’s vision.  It used to be mildly insulting that he imagined I had left myself with so little means that I couldn’t treat him and my Stepmom for the occasional birthday (they are a week apart in December) or special event meal.  I’ve come to accept as inviolable that image in his mind until or unless I get a “real” job.  That also means, no paying for fishing trips or other gifts.

I say “used to be insulting” because I understand it’s all part of his caring about me and “watching out for me”, even unto my 50’s.  I know he still frets over the future for me and my Sister.  I know he can’t help himself from occasional questions or probes, though he has gotten surprisingly good at biting his tongue.  It can still be irritating to me and at the same time wonderful.

One of the great pleasures of my impoverished state is that I gained the freedom for more lunches (all free) and time with Dad.  More phone calls, too.  Just like on Father’s Day, when we talked about the family, fishing, friends (his and mine) and, oh yeah, that I loved him.

You know what?  That made for a pretty good Father’s Day for both of us.

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