Father’s Day- Show some respect

by Larry Patrick

    This Sunday is Father’s Day in case many of you have forgotten.  Unlike Mother’s Day, the florists will take a long weekend, many restaurants will not be expecting a huge turnout of families taking dad out to eat.  The grocery stores may see a run on steaks so that the family can give it to dad to barbeque his own meal in the back yard.  The phone company records used to show that more “collect” calls were made on Father’s Day than any other day of the year.  Some that do shop for dear ole dad for Father’s Day lament that they have to put some thought into it now.  They can’t just run into a clothing store and pick out some gaudy tie. Why? Because most dads don’t wear ties anymore. (Yes, I’m the exception).  It’s like the old routine the late comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, used to use, ”I don’t get any respect.”

    Now dads are starting to ask for a little respect.  I read last week where dads are asking card companies like Hallmark, to begin having more cards that picture dad as a caring and compassionate guy not just some bumbling idiot to be made fun about.  Dads aren’t asking to be put on the same level as moms but they sure would like to come up a number of notches on the love and respect scale.

    There’s no doubt that men create a lot of the problems that the world suffers through.  There are times we fall a bit short in the “graces” department that women would like to see much improvement.  But for every bad dad out there, there are probably 10 good dads that have to suffer through the stereotypes that have been heaped on them.

    This Sunday is a day to look at the many good qualities that your dad has.  I was not real close to my real dad. He was an alcoholic, chain smoker, coarse language type of guy. He died at just 54 because of his many excesses. I loved him because he had taught me many good qualities and showed me what some negative excesses can do to your life and family.  My two step-fathers were much nicer guys and treated my mom much better.  I was already grown by the time they came along and sadly, they too have passed.

    I am however, a proud father of 3 grown children that have done pretty well for themselves.  I’m fortunate that my oldest son is coming home from West Africa where he teaches school.  It will be a great Father’s Day just getting to see him.  My youngest son is a lawyer and lives in Toronto, Canada.  My daughter has given me three grandkids that I adore.  So I am a pretty lucky dad.  My kids love me and I love them. 

    We don’t get together often because they’re all spread out across the globe but they keep in touch and they remember me on or around Father’s Day.  I receive Father’s Day cards (with no money in them. I thought they were going to pay me back for the money I used to loan them) and gifts at Christmas.  So I feel loved and appreciated as a dad.  I do get respect even though I can be bumbling at times.

   To all of you dads out there, I hope you get a lot of love and respect this Sunday.  I know we’re not all handsome or handy but many of us sure do try hard.  I guess we can all try a bit harder just as long as we aren’t trying to aim to be thought better of than dear ole mom.  Not gonna happen. larry@huerfanojournal.com.