Sunday, June 16, 2013

FTT Off-Topic: Father's Day

Yes, Yes, Issues
Not sports, yada yada.

Holidays are kind of cockblocked in my house. My birthday is two weeks before Father's Day, so it seems like something of a drag to have a big deal made about you again, so close to the other date. My wife has the same issue with her birthday and Mother's Day, and our anniversary is right in the middle of our birthdays; bad planning, I know. My eldest's birthday is in late April, and the youngest's is in mid-July; there is also an unholy mess of niece and nephew birthdays on top of their dates.

And I get that this happens to everybody; life is like that, especially when you have family. Modern life requires speed, and getting over stuff. But it's still kind of hard to think too hard about this holiday, for, well, another reason.

My own father was what is referred to, politely, as a piece of work. Alcoholic, absent, abusive: he checked every box. He also died a few years ago, and no one found him for a while; it got unseemly. I met him as an adult, took his life as the proper warning and object lesson, and didn't keep contact. So we never really celebrated Father's Day in my household growing up, or ever think about it. Either as a child or as an adult.

And then you have kids, and then they make stuff for you when you are young, or buy stuff for you when you are older, and there's really no way around it; you fake it until you feel it.

For my birthday, my kids got me books from my Amazon wish list. They included "Dad Is Fat" by the comedian Jim Gaffigan, and "Someone Could Get Hurt" by the sports blogger Drew Magary. The latter is the far superior book, because Magary is far better as a writer, and willing to be brutally honest about his struggles with the role. Gaffigan's a very funny man, but Magary's pretty solid as well, and he's just hitting on more touch points.

Tomorrow, the kids will let me sleep late, but there's laundry to do and a lawn to mow. I've also got an 11:30 golf date with a good friend (and fellow dad), which will be my first chance to swing the clubs the Shooter Wife got me for my birthday. And then Ill get back to the house, open some presents, have a great dinner, put the kids to bed and catch Heat - Spurs Game Five. The kids are like their mom; they give me my space when I ask for it, and let me do what I do. Which means that I do more for them. It works out.

Father's Day didn't use to mean a thing to me. It still doesn't, not really. But every day is better now, and worse, because that's what parenting is like.

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