Boy, you really get the short end of the stick on this Father’s Day stuff. Mother’s Day may be drowning in cheap perfume and cheaper flowers, but there are trips, jewels and good food to balance out the saccharine flavor of the day. If I were to heed the advertising, it would seem your life is one long parade of grilling tools, remote controls, and electric razors. Sure, it’s the thought that counts, but those things aren’t at all what come to mind when I think of you.
Long before it was de rigueur to say so, you taught us that experience was the best gift. Those experiences didn’t always… err… never seemed to go according to plan. But that was when the adventure began.
Speaking of plans, you taught us never to be too caught up in a plan – to be flexible. Being distracted by bright, shiny objects was dull. But being derailed by the promise of an unplanned swim in a crisp, clear alpine lake? Definitely worth it.
We were always late for things when we spent the day with you, dad. You had to do a lot of apologizing to the other adults. Your way of living may not have always been responsible, but it sure was fun.
You taught us that sometimes you have to work to make people laugh, and that doing so is always time well spent. You were naturally funny and quick. You didn’t have to spend time compiling good stories, but you did because you knew that some situations needed a good-natured laugh more than they needed a pile of money.
Of course, many of the situations you got us into could have been solved with a full tank of gas… but that’s a different story.
So here’s Father’s Day, again. How do you honor a dad who doesn’t fit the mold?
I think you spend the day exactly as they would. I think we wake up slowly and head someplace wild where we won’t see anyone. I think we’ll probably get a little lost and lighten the mood by laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. I think we’ll probably have a cocktail before a socially acceptable hour. And I think we’ll make darn sure that at sunset we are surrounded by people we love. We’ll raise a glass and give a toast to the good life. Because that is ultimately what you taught me, dad. No one can define our version of a good life but us.
Cheers to you, dad!
Happy Father’s Day to all dads.