Fadders day is here once again and again it’s time to say “Hey, Pop you’re not so bad after all!” Oh sure we may or may not have given you any reason to be any different right. Now I know that I cannot sit here and claim that I know everything a father will go through in his lifetime. Then again I have tried to make a difference for a few children over the years and have even taken a few adults to raise for a time. And while I have been called a Mother F*^%@# a time or two thousand, I doubt the two have that much in common, other than the obvious, and nothing connected to being a father. In reality you can be one without being the other I guess, but I am sure I don’t need to tell you and then again I digress. What I do know when I see it are proud Fathers. I was reminded of a proud father not too long ago while looking at one proud Grandpa’s photos of his first grandchild. Even though I did not see a photo of him with his grand baby I was reminded of when his son was born and that sparkle in his eyes and the grin that would appear whenever he would hold him and talk about him.
I have come to believe that maybe just maybe anything is possible when it comes to fathers and their children. No, my real father did not reappear in my life and do something that shook my belief system and made me see a different light. We all know that will never happen, no I have listened to some of my friends talking about their own children. Then there was the proud grandpa showing off the photos of his first grandchild and another proud grandpa I know showing off the photos of his family taking on the grandpa roll as quickly as he took on the father roll to the eight year old girl that has given him the grandchild. I guess some males of the species take on the father roll and are meant for it and take to the roll easily and then again there are others that just never seem to get it.
I suppose I could sit here and regale you all with boundless memories of the many things I did with my father, but that wouldn’t amount to very much. Then again I could tell you of some of the memories that I have of my stepfather and before him my grandfather. Some of the memories that are still in my brain include both of these men and fishing. Fishing with my grandfather was mostly lake fishing while with my stepfather it was fishing from creek banks and mostly at night. There was always a burning tire involved as well, mostly to keep the black flies and mosquitoes away, not so good at cooking a hot dog over or roasting marshmallows over but hey, at least you weren’t slapping at your neck every half second. My stepfather always said that the fish were attracted to the burning tire and that it wouldn’t be the same without it. Looking back now I have to wonder about that, maybe he just liked the smell of burning rubber; hmm it sure would explain a few things. Like why we always fished at night and why we always needed to burn a tire, but then again there is that chance he was just being cheap and didn’t want to spring for the hot dogs or marshmallows. Come to think of it….
I also remember some of the other things he tried to teach me, like how hard work was its own reward or was that if you don’t work hard you don’t get to do anything else let alone get a reward. I am not so sure just how patient my stepfather was when I was younger after all I was the youngest and it’s hard to say how much patience he had left after dealing with my brother and my step siblings. It seemed to me that you had to learn stuff from watching. Well the hard stuff anyway everything else was all hands on training so to speak. Oh sure we’d get e few instructions on what we were to do and how we were to do it. Those instructions regularly included phrases such as, just dig, no over there, lift, pull, and a few choice words when it was deemed we were not paying enough attention to the instructions. There was the off times that we or mostly my brother and step brother would watch while one of us did most of the work, that usually being me. These being the times that my stepfather was sure we knew what we were doing. Well, we were supposed to know what we were doing anyway. Now they did get busted at least once that I remember. While were supposed to be working they were sitting watching me work not that I was busting my gut working but I was the only one that was working for the most part. It’s not that it was so unusual for them to be sitting around watching me do all the work; it’s just that they had never been caught. According to them I was the reason things took so long, it was in fact usually their fault as they ordered me around and watched. You can imagine how happy I was that they were finally busted, however the trickle down affect was me getting the rough end of whatever punishment my stepfather handed down and subsequently I was beaten up for it. I truly doubt that that is what my stepfather had intended to happen but that is the way it went. Of course there is no way that I could blame him nor would I ever. Things happen that way when you’re not an only child, that’s the way it has been and probably always will be.
So to you my friends and family and family of friends forget all the consequences of actions that are in the past, they are better off left there in the past. Sit down with old pop or the father figure in your life and remind them of some of the good times you remember and maybe even a few of those proud pop moments will come out of him. Embrace the old man and let him know the things that make you glad he was around while you were growing up. Then again maybe just the things he has been around since then, either way as they say, it’s all good.