Father’s Day: Fakin’ it

the good uncle

Les Green.Savannah GA.1998Father’s Day has never been that big a deal. Certainly, it’s less important than Mother’s Day. Surely, I don’t recall my father noting it for his stepfather, McKinley. I’m sure that he dutifully accepted whatever present our mother bought for us to give to him.

When I was an adult, though, I’d try to call him or send a card at least, though I was/am notoriously bad at the latter. It seems that Mom cared more about Mother’s Day, so I was more inclined to make the effort.

I remember, though, that after my father died in 2000, ads for Father’s Day presents would irritate me more than Mother’s Day ads would after my mo died in 2011. There is no rational explanation.

Maybe it’s this: I never felt as though I had a lot of alternative father figures, unlike the other “moms” I had. My late FIL, sure, but we were more like buddies. Maybe it’s because he was only 17 years older.

The closest thing I have to a support group is the dads’ group at church. There are five of us. I’m the oldest, but my daughter isn’t the oldest among the kids. It’s been useful, especially, as I’ve said several times on this site, I have no idea what I’m doing.

“I still haven’t shaken it”

Should I be more firm over her school attendance early in the pandemic? Lessee, what did my parents do when I was going to school during a pandemic? Wait, that never happened.

I feel, quoting a Simon Garfunkel song, as though “I’m fakin’ it, not really makin’ it.” I try to take my cues from her. Some days, I barely see her, as she hides in her room for Zoom school. Other days, she’s out at the dining room table. You just can’t hug her one day, and the next, she’s offering them to both parents, for a limited time only.

Here’s something my wife told me only last month. My sisters both told my wife, many years ago, that I’d be a good father. It’s because I was such a good uncle to their girls. This is very kind, and I’ll take the compliment. But I don’t see it as applicable. Being an uncle is easy; being a dad is much harder.

Anyway, Happy Father’s Day to all of you dads out there, and to all of you who miss their fathers.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

3 thoughts on “Father’s Day: Fakin’ it”

  1. You are much too self-judgemental; parenting is not a set of rules, it’s a negotiation that arises off of the foundation of your own personality. You understand and try to practice the Golden Rule. If you’ve given your kid the respect due a Little Adult and done your best to simply explain the Whys and Wherefores and shepherd her as she’s found her OWN way in life, you’ve done well. So give yourself some credit, on Father’s Day and every day!

  2. Roger, given that you’re such an observant, introspective, caring writer here (and a cool guy, in person,) there’s no way you’re not a good Dad. (And I remember how, at Staff Training, you’d say ” The Daughter” and “The Wife” with a warm, loving look in your eyes….yup, no way you’re not a great dad and husband! )

  3. I saw something this year that I’d never seen in seasonal promotions, first for Mother’s Day, then for Father’s Day: Several different mailing lists I’m on sent emails announcing that they’d be sending emails touting their Mother’s Day/Father’s Day promotions and giving me the option of opting out of receiving them because, they said, some people found the days difficult. While I thought that was an awesome idea, I realised I’d never seen it before, and I have no idea why no one thought of it until now (apparently). I didn’t opt out, but there are several people I know in real life who I think would’ve at least appreciated the option.

    And yes, you definitely are a good father, and the fact you question yourself is one of the reasons why I know that.

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