Father’s Day. It’s not quite my holiday, and not just because I gave up ties for fashionable banded-collar shirts some years ago. My problem isn’t with being a Father, since I can think of nothing else I’d rather be called. What I’ve never liked about the idea is that if you take being a Father really seriously, it’s 24/7/365 and more. One day? Not even close.
I’ve done about as much for my kids as I think any Father could. When my wife and I divorced, I decided to take the buyout at my regular job as a Research Engineer and look for employment closer to home – I wanted to pick my kids up at school every day. I started working as an internet marketer, then later as a consultant and grant writer. That was 6 years ago, and while a daytime meeting or two made me late once or twice I did my part. I see my kids every single day. I am their father.
It’s been tough to piece together a career that made this happen, and my resume shows some wandering as I made it work. But I did make it work. This time in my life also allowed me to find my passion for writing that grew naturally out of my passion for my kids and my life. It’s been tough at times, but it’s always been worth it.
Now that my kids are older, things have changed. I’d love to have a regular type of job because the stability matters – and the kids and I can work it out one way or the other. My daughter is old enough to need a little more space, knowing that Dad is over there just out of sight. I recently made it clear to her that if she’s out with friends and something is going down that she doesn’t like, she has a ride home with one phone call and no questions. I figure that’s my job as a Father to a teenager, a gig based on trust more than anything.
None of this explanation really explains why I am not a fan of Father’s Day. Yes, it’s a Hallmark kind of holiday, but wouldn’t anyone who is into his kids just enjoy it? I suppose I could, and to some extent I do. The kids often make breakfast for me, where usually I do all the cooking. They make stuff for me that decorates the house, which I enjoy.
Yet for all the simple fun, I can’t think of Fatherhood as being a one day kind of thang. That’s my problem with Father’s Day, plain and simple. I’ll celebrate it as much as the kids enjoy showing their appreciation, but the next day I’ll be just as much a Father. And I damned well don’t want anything less.