For those who don’t know me so well, I am quite bah humbug when it comes to greeting card holidays. I don’t know why really, but I usually roll my eyes when Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day roll around on the calendar. But I recognize the apparent reason for these days as many facebook users changes their profile pictures to reflect upon the ones they love and it becomes a day of tribute and possibly celebration if you’re near those loved ones.
Wikipedia says that Congress refused to make Father’s Day an official holiday in 1916, fearing that it would become commercialized. Coincidentally, Hallmark Cards began in 1915. Actually it was probably no coincidence whatsoever, but it wasn’t until 1966, that President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
Father’s Day can be easily taken for granted if your father is still with you. Most of the tributes online and in newspapers that I see are referencing the passing of their dads and what they remember and miss about them. My wife lost her father when he was only 59. That was seven and a half years ago. I know she misses him every day and I hope I can make enough of an impact on my little girl so that she thinks of me often too.
So I thought since I don’t buy greeting cards anymore anyway, that I would share a few thoughts about my father on Father’s Day.
Growing up, my daddy was always there. His career didn’t require that he travel often. The trips we took were together in the car or van, or whatever we had at the time. If we weren’t going to the lake, we might take a two week vacation. One year we drove up along the east coast as far as Wildwood, NJ. Another year we drove up to Seattle and back down the northern California coast. I don’t know if I’ll ever do that again, but I’ll never forget those trips.
He taught me my love of football and baseball, taking us to Astros games in Houston every summer. Sundays in the fall were spent watching Randy White and Tony Dorsett run all over the field while we cheered the Dallas Cowboys on to victory (most of the time). It wasn’t always teaching in the classic sense, as much as it was me observing and absorbing things along side him on the way.
He was our little league coach and a designated “super coach” during a football game in my senior year. We won the city championship and the football game.
We built a fence together in the backyard of my great-grandmother’s house one summer. You could tell when it was done that it was built by a banker and a future optometrist, but it was fun anyway.
I have yet to pick up his love of fishing. He’s out fishing right now for big bass on Falcon Lake in Zapata, TX. Probably trying to reel in an eleven pounder and no longer as excited about those 7 to 8 pounders he catches so often. I regret not being able to get down that way so often to pull in some big ones myself.
I am proud of my father. He’s worked hard and now he and my mom live a very comfortable life. And he plays as hard as he works, never forgetting the importance of a frosty mug to complement that cold beer.
But mainly, it was that he was always there and still is even though I’ve moved to the northeast. Since I became a father, I have made choices depending on whether or not it would take time away from my daughter. She and my wife usually win out when I’m trying to decide how to split my time. And fortunately, my career doesn’t have me traveling very often either and some fathers just need to do that.
He and I aren’t very sappy, touchy-feely kind of guys. In fact, I don’t even feel the need for him to comment on this post. That’s not the point. It was just something I felt like doing on Father’s Day. bah-humbug.
- How did Father’s Day get started? (greenlightgirl.wordpress.com)