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Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day

The other day was Father’s Day. Or “dios de Padres” for some. This is the masculine equivalent of Mother’s Day, except with no frilly, lacy flowery stuff.

Have you ever perused the greeting card racks at these two commemorative days? Mother’s Day cards feature flowers, song-birds, pastel tints, soft-focused photographs, perhaps a close up of a toddler’s hand grasping Mom’s.   Such is the typical stock-in-trade for Mother’s Day.

The verses contained within Mother’s Day cards lean toward the “I-am-so-blessed-to-have-you-for-my-Mom. You-are-a-saint” sort; all written in flowing script. The typical Mother’s Day card is so sweet, it should carry an FDA warning for the potential of sugar shock; “Warning! If you are diabetic, you may want to get another card!”

Mother’s Day cards tend to be rather ornate, with frills, bows, and delicately crafted pop-up images contained within.

Father’s Day cards, on the other hand, tend to have a somewhat more limited color palette available to work with. Primarily, you will find browns, tans, blues, greens; the occasional red or yellow for contrast… that is pretty much the color range in Dad’s cards. Nothing gaudy to be found here, no siree Bob!

Images on Father’s Day cards veer off toward deer, pheasants, ducks, rainbow trout, fishing equipment, hunting gear, classic cars, boats, classic tools, or sports equipment, with golf items leading the pack. No cutesy soft focus photos here. I mean, Dad wants to count every tine in that buck’s rack.

The sentiments in Dad’s cards are somewhat shorter, printed in block type. There tends to be a preponderance of one and two syllable words also. The usual tone is something like this; “Thanks-for-being-my-Dad.  I-guess someone-had-to-be-since-Mom-didn't-hook-up-with-Batman.”  Sometimes, they are less mushy, more along the lines of “Glad-you-are-my-Dad. Thanks-for-teaching-me-to-belch-the-alphabet.”

Oh, one more little thing: the price. Mothers casually glance at the price (which is tough to do while fumbling for her reading glasses), and think “Well, a seven dollar card. How nice!” Dads will stare at those little figures, and think “Two-fifty? What were you thinking, Girl? That can buy a gallon of milk for the kids! Good grief.”

On Mother’s Day, Mom is “given a break”, and is treated to a wonderful meal at a nice restaurant in the company of 200 other Mothers with their families. Dear Old Mom gets some special time with her children gathered around her; all gazing upon her with rapt admiration. If one glances about the room, they are nearly blinded by scores of light beams descending from the Heavenlies upon all the Moms.

Dad’s day is somewhat simpler. All that is required is a trip to the grocery for some form of animal protein to slap on the grill. Add some home-made baked beans, slaw, tater or pasta salad, and the old boy is happy.
Being in the yard, standing at the grill while his family is enjoying a beautiful Spring day is perfectly alright by him. Toss in a nap, and Life is very good indeed.

Mother’s Day gifts run toward flowers, live plants, chocolates, cologne, items of apparel, and so forth. 

Dad’s day gifts gravitate toward tee-shirts, tools, fishing or outdoors stuff, maybe a book or DVD for the more cerebral Fathers out there. And, neckties…how can I forget? I have ties from 30 or more Father’s Days ago. Although I no longer wear ties on a daily basis (Thank you, Jesus!), I will periodically run my fingers along their silken length as a memory generated smile creases my countenance.

However, to me, Father’s Day is so much more.

I reflect upon the four little lives God saw fit to bless me with. If it were not for them, I would have no reason to acknowledge the day.

My greatest honor is being called “Dad” by Char, Shannon, Aubrey, and Gabe. I have been double blessed with my four “later in life” children; Bill, Eric, John, and Teri. They are not my “in-laws”; no, I feel for each of them as if they were my biological children.

And, the grandchildren; Dalton, Domenic, Dakota, Delaney, Bailey, Skeie, Gwen, and Rocky, all the way from the age of 21 to 4 years; they are the best grandchildren anyone could want. I don’t care what all the other grandparents say.

Thank you all for being my family.

And…an extra special recognition to my Lovely Bride, were it not for her, I would be a pretty lonely guy.

I just pray I can be the husband, Dad and Papa they all deserve.

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