Father’s Day seems to be a holiday put together by Hallmark who created a reason to buy cards and to spend money either with a gift or a dinner. The thought of have a day to honor the father is a nice one but doesn’t compete with the recognition moms get on Mother’s Day. Restaurants consider Mother’s Day the busiest day of the year. On Father’s Day, they barely get a crowd worth opening the restaurant for. Father’s Day meals usually are a backyard barbecue accompanied by a gift of grill utensils and an apron that says “King of the Grill”. If anyone ever gave me a set of steak knives for Mother’s Day I would be justified in cutting off their head.
In the last few years, Tony and I have chosen to go away on vacation around Father’s Day. With many schools still in session, destinations were usually less crowded and it still wasn’t stiflingly hot. This year, however we were home. So the boys set forth to come to the house to enjoy a simple meal of pizza and mussels. A good time was had by all. No grilling, no apron and no utensils. Just cards from Hallmark.
Our oldest, Anthony, gave his father a card where he wrote, “I hope to be as good a dad as you were to me”. Anthony and Joana are having their first baby in October. They are reading the bible of pregnancy, What to Expect When You Are Expecting following up with the age old guide to child rearing, Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care. I had them both when I started a family and referred to Spock’s book many times especially in the beginning. I have to confess, I still would not recognize the difference in a baby’s cries.
I remember the day I brought Anthony home. My mother was there helping me recover from the cesarean I had and took care of the house while I tried to get this breast feeding thing right. There were sleepless nights and sore breasts. I was going for the Mother Earth concept by using cloth diapers. Huge mistake. The attempt failed and soon led way to Pampers. The Mother Earth syndrome was not for a nervous, neurotic first time mother like me.
Now my child is going to be a father. I remember moments of his childhood but the transformation to the man he is today is somewhat blurry. He will be a family man soon. He will have all the trials and tribulations of raising children but also the right stuff to make a good father.
The summer has begun. In our 55+ community there are children running around spending time with their grandparents while their parents are at work. I expect I will be one of them by next summer. I haven’t thought much on what it means to be a grandparent. I will probably join my neighbors watching the kid to give the parents a break. Maybe I’ll start a Grandparent’s playgroup.