June 20, 2010

The Father's Day That Was

The clock on my computer says that it is a quarter after 8 but the clock in the kitchen says 11:15. So I close my eyes and ask my body for the answer and receive a strongly worded WTF in response. The engine room can't figure out why the captain would ask such a stupid question.

Been back east for a short while now but I never bothered to change the time on the 'puter, phone or watch. Scratch that, I don't wear a watch anymore. Anyhoo, I am stuck in some surreal timezone that I created for myself-do I care? No, not really.

During the last 41 years or so I think that I have missed spending Father's Day with my dad just a couple of times so it is very noticeable to me when he is not around. Kind of funny really, neither one of us put much stock in these types of holidays, though if we were in the same city we would have gotten together.

But since the Traveling Jack show is on the road that wasn't possible this year. Instead we spent it with other family members and that was just fine. The Dark Haired Beauty made me a beautiful card that I love. That is said with real emotion and gratitude. Not the kind of fake praise you give to a child that creates something ugly and useless. I know that is kind of unfair, but we all get a gift or two from our children that fit into that category. It was made with love, but...

Anyhoo, her big brother was upset because he left my gift at home and didn't think to make a card for me. I wasn't bothered by this. He is having so much fun on this trip that I can't complain and more importantly, I know that he appreciates me and that is enough.

But just in case I didn't he made a point of taking me aside and telling me that he carries me in his heart wherever he goes. And that simple phrase my friends did more for me than I can properly express. Later on he overheard someone telling their father that they were the best ever and told me that they were wrong because he thinks that I am.

It made me smile but it also made me remember a bunch of things. The obvious part is that I remember saying that to my own father, but I also remember the confusion I felt the first time my son said it to me. It is a number of years ago, but I remember wondering how that could be. Why? Because I still thought of my father as the best ever which clearly meant that I couldn't hold the title.

In the end it is not so much about the title but the feeling. If my children believe that I am the best father ever than I suppose that I am doing something right. More importantly is trying to give them that feeling when they get to be a bit older and are more capable of being critical of me.

All told Father's Day 2010 was a mighty fine day. Though I wasn't able to spend it with my father I did speak with him. And as usual it was strange to hear him wish me a happy Father's Day too. One of these days I'll get used to that one. Had smores with the kids, listened to people speak English with funny east coast accents and had a great steak for dinner.

Good times and good memories. These are what we hope to fill our days with.


Keith Wilcox said...

funny east coast accents. I haven't heard a really good Boston one in a while. But, I've lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota so that was funny :-)

I'm glad you had a good father's day. I remember the first time my boy vocalized a happy father's day to me. I did a momentary double take because I thought my dad was in the room :-)

Kristen @ Motherese said...

Hey Jack - Happy Father's Day, one day late. It sounds like you had a very meaningful one, even if you didn't get the chance to be with your dad. What wonderful gifts your kids gave you. Enjoy your trip!

Big Little Wolf said...

This is a wonderful story, Jack. You're very fortunate to carry on the tradition of good dads.

(Funny East Coast accents, huh???) :)

ShelleBlok said...

It is so good that you have such a great relationship with your father... I remember the my first Mother's Day and it felt surreal... like I went from my youth into adulthood.

Hope your day was a good one.

The JackB said...

Hi Shelle- it is a surreal transition, but well worth doing.

The JackB said...

I feel very lucky. I know that not everyone is able to do that.

The JackB said...

It was a very good day- thank you. The trip has been great. I hope that you and the family are doing well.

The JackB said...

Sometimes they tell me that I am the one with the accent- suppose that it all depends on what side of the fence we are standing on. I know that double take you have mentioned, done it myself.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I'm glad you had such a nice Father's Day. I wish my parents still lived close enough to see on holidays. Family truly is what matters most.

The JackB said...

Hey 24,

Family is indeed very important. Hope briefcase had a great Father's Day.