Thursday, September 04, 2008
I'm not sure about the need to celebrate Father's day.
There's enough pleasure to be derived from just being in that predicament without having to be reminded of it with a new pair of socks, although that is not to say that it's not appreciated, nor that the odd or even quite frequent bar of chocolate between the annual events would go astray in allaying fears of one's inadequacies as a Dad.
My own father was somewhat less demonstrative than some would have one believe is the standard for fatherly expression, and probably for that reason I value, (rather than the terribly unblokey "cherish") both of the times I can recall when his guard dropped briefly to allow a verbal expression of (shudder) love for his offspring. There was certainly an underlying concern and pride and other apparently unspeakable emotions lurking just below the surface, seen but not heard, and sadly he seemed completely lacking the ability to express them, at least verbally, until that fateful night after the birth of our second child.
In those days fathers and grandfathers for that matter, weren't allowed anywhere near the 'secret women's business' surrounding the first weeks of life of a new infant, so we were standing outside what amounted to a shop window, staring in at three rows of cribs, wondering at our extraordinary good fortune that ours (third from the left, middle row) shone out so remarkably above all the others in every respect. With us was our eldest daughter/granddaugher, exactly two years of age and behaving as only the cleverest, prettiest and cutest of two year olds can do.
I looked at both my progeny, and then at him, and remarked that it had been a wonderful two years, with never a day passing without something special happening. Some new piece of learning, a cute expression, a copied action, it was all too wonderful to comprehend.
"When does that phase stop?" I enquired.
He looked me square in the eye, and if it hadn't been a sissy sort of observation, I would have sworn I saw the makings of a tear forming in one of his, and he replied:
"I don't know. It hasn't yet."
It was simply the nicest, mushiest thing he'd ever said in my earshot, and now, almost thirty years later, with the merest hint of blurred vision as I recall that moment, I can confirm he was absolutely correct!
Happy Father's Day kiddies!
at 8:00 am