This year is theoretically my twenty-eighth Father’s Day.
I’m honestly not sure what age my oldest daughter is because, well, I’ve just never paid much attention to timed things like that. I used to. But as I get older… ages, moments, years, anniversaries, and the number of grains of sand on a beach just don’t stick with me like they used to. There must be a name for that.
There must also be a name for that moment when Father’s Day finally outlives its purpose. I mean, I’m still considered via DNA to be a Father per say, but at this point in my life I don’t truly FEEL the part. It’s becoming a little… what’s the word I’m looking for… obligatory. I’d love to tell my three kids adult children offspring that I’m over the cute cards with hammers, golf clubs and cool cars that say what a great Dad I am or was or will be. I don’t want to hurt their feelings, but I’m truly past the ties, the books, the drawings, the rare poem, and the gift cards. Perhaps, they are too.
Looking back, I actually WAS a good Father at one time, and I’m not fishing for support, looking for pats on the back, or soliciting comments about being a parent, however, I am basically expressing the fact that I feel that my role as a Father doesn’t exist for me presently. It’s as if I look back at this other person who played the role quite well at one time but is now not needed for the part. Am I already ready for my close-up Mr. DeMille?
I’m okay with that. At least, I think I am.
In more recent years, I’ve tried doing the phone call thing and attempting to schedule time together, but there were distances, and time restraints, and jobs, and schools, and issues, and there was even a cat in the cradle, but I felt that my trying to push into the moments of growing adults with lives of their own was making me seem almost desperate to remain in their world. I felt like maybe I was pushing too hard, to be what I felt I should be. Just a Dad.
So I stopped. And they stopped too.
I’m still okay with that. At least, I THINK I am. I really love who I have become, where I am, and what I stand for as a pretty genuine person who is finally comfortable with his voice. I guess I’m also okay with those kids that I used to take to every playground in the tri-state area, to swimming lessons, gymnastics, piano lessons, school concerts and plays, field trips, the beach, horseback riding, vacations, graduations, and even a spectacular wedding who have become wonderful people who are all charging ahead in worlds of their own.
So, I’m bowing out of Father’s Day this year, and the next, and the next…