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.

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