Father’s Day is upon us. And we should begin by saying that Mother’s Day is really the important one here. They’re the ones who deserve the accolades (we all know this.) For many dads, the expectations for this day disappear as quickly my last nip of Ardbeg Supernova.
But still. It is our day. And the day of those who raised us. So I’d like us all to raise our glasses of whiskey – you do have a whiskey, don’t you? Goodness, have my ramblings taught you nothing over the years? – and give a toast to the gentlemen who’ve taught good and bad and some of the gray in between.
Dad is the one who let you get away with a little bit more than mom ever did.
He’s the one with the unique Dad-power to embarrass his kids in front of friends, dates, strangers. This Dad-hazing is a time-honored tradition that fathers pass down to their sons who pass it down to their sons. Been around since the first cave-dad clubbed the cave-boyfriend who came to take his cave-daughter on a mammoth hunt.
Even the toughest dads have tender moments.
But they still know how and when to kick ass, as necessary.
Dads teach us the ropes. They pass on their passions. Often, in our own eyes, we can never measure up to them.
Dads are the ones who taught us all how to throw a ball. Or in special cases, how to hit one with a long metal stick and keep it in the fairway.
They are the ultimate life caddies. Carrying us through tough spots, offering guidance when we can’t see what’s beyond the dogleg, helping us get out of the hazards we often find ourselves in…okay, the metaphor is getting a bit belabored. But damned if that pic of Jack and his boy has gone and put a little dust in my eye. Nice shirt too, I might add.
And no, dads aren’t always perfect. Heaven knows my own progeny drew the short club out of the bag – especially with me not being Bob Dylan and all. But I suppose it’s in the daily trying and the showing up that matters. And I like to think that every family dinner and every tee-ball game is a small investment in preventing my daughter from telling some customer in 2032, as she yells to be heard above the strains of Dr. Feelgood: “Yeah, my dad never made it to the recitals…so I dance here now.”
Let’s all pause for a moment to hum the official Dad anthem and try not to get even more misty-eyed while doing so.
Anyway. Back to the task at hand. Father’s Day and expectations.
The missus Noonan inquired what I might like to commemorate the day. Hmmm. What do I want? What does my old man want? Hell, when was the last time I got him something?
But then, as quickly as the question arose, I knew the answer. All fellow dads know the answer, deep down in the bottoms of our souls and whiskey guts.
It’s not a long weekend in Ireland on a golf bender with the boys. Not entirely.
It’s not whatever pasta and glue abomination our children have concocted at one of their summer camps – though bless ‘em for doing so.
And it’s not even to return to the halcyon free-romping days with the missus, before our heirs burst on the scene. Although a brief, ahem, re-visit after said heirs go to bed wouldn’t hurt.
Really, truly, verily, what more do dads want than a good chair and just some peace and f’ing quiet. Peace. And. F’ing. Quiet.
And perhaps a cold one. Or a whiskey. Or both.
And not the 4 minutes in between sibling squabbles quiet. Hours of quiet. Where we can reflect on the men we’ve become, the men who helped us become that way, the families we have, and all those people who love us. Oh, and also – for once – the commentators on the US Open.
So this Father’s Day, raise a glass to dads (you have a glass NOW, right? Good.) If you’re a dad yourself, here’s to you. If your own dad has gone to that great 19th hole in the sky, here’s to him. If you’re lucky enough to still have yours on the back nine with you, be sure to give him a call and let him know you were thinking of him. And then hang up, and kick back in the easy chair. Just like your dad is doing, just like your sons will do one day too.
Have a good one. And be the ball,