I suppose it is nothing new to anyone who reads this blog with any regularity that I am not a fan of Father's Day. I don't loathe it as I loathe Valentine's Day, but...I'm not too into it.
It's cool and all, but the day seems, as Valentine's Day does, artificial to me. Dads should not seek thanks or special treatment.
I know, I know: It's only one day per year; it is a celebration or parenthood. But...why?
Shouldn't being a dad be its own celebration? For me, it really is.
It's not that good stuff doesn't sometimes happen on Father's Day. I saw cool pictures of friends of mine doing fun stuff with their kids. But, in the holiday-driven, social media age, those things that should be a quiet, personal joy become public and they grow another branch: a branch out of the father/son/daughter relationship and into the public sphere.
I suppose there is an inclination, what with the ubiquitous share-enabling technology, to share one's joy with others. I feel it too, sometimes. But is there validity is thinking that a half hour cuddling on the couch with my sons should remain undiluted by "sharing"? Isn't there some merit in keeping it only for us?
Don't get me wrong. I don't fault a guy for wanting to share his joy with friends...but...I don't know...
One thing I do know is that I didn't fall apart this Father's Day, even though it is the first since my dad died around six months ago. In fact, it really had, I can honestly say, absolutely no effect on me.
One way to look at this is that I am a feelingless monster. Well, I really am not. But maybe if I had spent my life (and if my dad had spent his) layering all sorts of importance onto the day, maybe then, I would have fallen to pieces at sunrise yesterday. We didn't, though; so I didn't.
Once again, I would never fault someone for getting misty over his lost dad on Father's Day. We react how we react. None of this is a question of right and wrong.
I do, however, keep coming back to the idea that maybe we place too much importance on benchmarks and representational days. As soon as we pile meaning onto a day, it becomes a disappointment waiting to happen. I can see marking these things quietly, but, when we start calling weddings "the most important day" of our lives, we are begging for disappointment; as soon as we herd our emotions of filial gratitude into one day, we are, whether we know it or not, leading ourselves away from daily expressions of love and daily personal acknowledgements of admiration -- we tend, I think, so save it up for later...
So, no, I didn't miss my dad any more yesterday than I did on Tuesday last week. But I did miss him a lot on Tuesday of last week and the Wednesday before that. And it never takes Hallmark cards with watercolor pictures of golf bags on them to make me remember what a great role model he was.
Now, if we would start to keep the cards out all year, I would certainly love to get an "I love you, Dad" card on the third Thursday in October...
Anyway, happy Monday the 16th, Dad. I love you and I will see you again some day after a lifetime.