Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day...or not...yet

Today is Father's Day. It's just that we're not celebrating at our house this year...not on the official Father's Day, anyway.

You know, dads have one of the most difficult roles in the whole world of roles to take on. You don't audition for it. You don't receive the title by getting the best time in a qualifying heat. You don't take entrance exams. And, once you are given the title, the expectations are so very much more than what you expect.

My husband is one of the greatest dads ever. He's really smart, patient, ingenious, clever, witty, quiet... He gives piggybacks and sits through countless pancake and bacon breakfasts at Waffle House, IHOP....anywhere and everywhere (and pancake and bacon dinners, too!). He plays innumerable rounds of Daughter #1's invented games and sits through innumerable reads of the same Dr. Seuss stories with Daughter #2. He was the one who suggested the bunk beds. He was the one who installed the wall of mirrors for our budding dancer. He set up the college funds....a long time ago!

He not only has to deal with the challenges of girls (me included....and especially!), but girls who have some unique challenges of their own--one with personality overload and the other with dialogue underload. And these challenges can be overwhelming, even to the greatest dad who has known them since the beginning. He really does love being a dad... somewhere deep inside....just not this week.

Anyhow, he doesn't want to celebrate Father's Day this year. I suspect he doesn't feel like he's a great father, even though that's not true. It's hard to hear the words from me and even harder, sometimes, to withstand what goes on under our roof and believe that you can do anything right.

So, we'll honor him on Father's Day for being the greatest dad by not celebrating. (And we'll postpone the gifts for a time when he remembers that it's not about how great the kids are at the moment, but that he continues to do the right thing--which he does!)


Chatty Kelly said...

John Rosemond (parenting guru) says:

"No matter how good a parent you are, your child is still capable on any given day of doing something despicable, disgusting, or depraved."

He suggests it to be highly therapeutic to read that sentence out loud and in the first person and present tense.

"Perfect" parents do not produce perfect kids. And since none of us is perfect, we're already starting behind the 8 ball, so to speak.

Hang in there Mr. J! And Happy Father's Day.

The Patterson 5 said...

I hope Mr J is feeling up to celebrating soon. Parenting is hard but somehow in these days I think fatherhood is harder than it was for say, my dad. Dads are more involved and the expectations seem to be higher. They don't just bring home the bacon anymore. I know your gentle spirit will soothe his days and he will be ready for a daddy's day party!