Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Father's Day, I Celebrate, I Lament

Some Dads are Grumpy
Some superheroes don't have capes, they are called "Dad".  Hello, my name is Jax. I'm a real woman, one who gets mad when other women run down good men, good Dads, and try to play down Father's Day, or claim it as "Single Moms Who Had to Act As Fathers" Day. In fact, Moms get praise and attention way more often than just Mother's Day, but Fathers rarely get their well-deserved praise, sometimes not even on Father's Day. Sorry, but I know way too many extraordinary DADS (including the one I was blessed with, and I'll get to that in a minute, I digress). So NO LADIES, that won't quite cut the mustard with me. Mothers get their very own holiday, and you can wax poetic about your struggles as a single mom on YOUR day (even though we give you mad props, in all honesty, bless you all). Plus we praise our Moms pretty much every day anyway.

{Sidenote: I'm honestly seeing and hearing of a lot more "deadbeat moms" these days than I am "deadbeat dads", step your game up girls, the guys are doing the damn thing.}

Don't misunderstand, I am not saying our Mothers don't deserve their praise, they do, they are the rocks that hold us together and give us inner strength and love. Mothers ARE LOVE. So I am not taking away anything deserved by our Moms. I just want to focus in on the Dads for a minute, because to ME, they are often UNSUNG HEROES, so ride with me here for a few miles, mmmkay?

Father's Day is a designated time for us to recognize fathers, grandfathers and father figures who have positively influenced our lives. I honestly resent all commercialized holidays as a whole because they are nothing more than marketing propaganda,  a breeding ground for hateful begrudging thoughts. One more excuse for people to get mad because they feel "forced" to buy something special for someone on a specific day, when it means much more in my opinion just to think about them on a day when they are just there, not expecting some gesture of appreciation and love (just like with Valentine's Day psssshtt). I'm just one of those women who loves Truth, Honesty and REAL GENUINE love and gestures of the heart. You can't market that. You can keep all the rest.

The early days, My eldest Sister perched between Mom and Dad who are holding
'us kids', my nieces and me (the little cowpoke with the jersey on)
Nevertheless, it's still as good a day as any to spotlight what I still like to refer to as "Real Fathers, Real Men", or better yet "AWESOME DADS!!" by blood or just bond. Oh my GOD I am not even playing around when I say that I know some seriously amazing MEN (DADS) who earn a status just underneath my very own (who's currently pranking the likes of Heaven as we speak, rest in peace would be a joke there, he is too mischievous and hilarious for that). Nope, I can't put anyone above my own Dad because, obviously he was the best, but these men are not far behind and that is truly saying something in my book. I could name them (and I will if you/they want), but they'd be embarrassed most likely, but they know who they are because I am very vocal in my praise for those men.

What I will say is that I stand in amazement at times at the strength, heart and the love of these guys. Some of them haven't had the best relationships with their own fathers, some didn't start out with the best women as partners, or support but they are proving that any shackle can be broken, any struggle defeated, and they're giving these kids what they never had, and teaching love and respect like champs. They share such a bond with their kids, or nieces/nephews and other family that they act as a father figure to, that it makes me pine so badly for just one more day with my own Dad. There is no getting over the loss of a parent, or loved one, it's just a void that we learn to live with and find other things to get us through life as we know it. That's the truth. These children are so smart, talented and are growing up into strong, kind and amazing individuals that anyone would be so proud of. There is not enough room in this blog for the praise I really want to express to you Dads, you don't even understand how precious and priceless you are.

Now for a little blurb about the history of Father's Day, and a little notation about my own Dad, who I wish could still be here with us now, shaking us down for the well-deserved "LOOT" that we most certainly knew not to walk into the house without, lest we risk extreme shaming and silent treatment for not gifting his obviously praiseworthy excellence.

History of Father's Day Father's Day: Started in the early 20th century in the United States to celebrate fatherhood and to complement Mother's Day. It was first celebrated on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA by Sonora Smart Dodd. She heard about Mother's Day in 1909 and told her pastor she thought fathers should have a similar holiday. Her father raised six children as a single parent. The local clergymen agreed to the idea and the first Father's Day sermon was given on June 19, 1910.
Yes, my Dad was a cape-less hilarious dude, and one of the best cooks, caretakers, friends, disciplinarians, #1 Fans, and Hardest Workers I ever knew. Though I have no memory of him ever shedding a tear, those calloused workman's hands and broad shoulders would, in times of need, turn into a soft haven, a comfort and his giant ears were ready to listen... You just better have a good reason for being sad or needing such comfort, otherwise you were wasting time and he would be forced to "give you something to cry about".

The funniest fact I can share about him in regard to any holiday that demanded someone other than him receiving any gifts, was that you had better not arrive to the function without also a gift for him in tow. So you see, it did not matter if it was my Mother's birthday, or Mother's Day, or anything else, you had to ensure that in giving her gifts, and making sure that her day was special, that you did not leave him out. He was funny that way, and we still laugh about his love of "looting up", as well as his hamming it up for the camera. As camera shy as I myself am (with the exception of my self-portraits), my father was always ready for a snapshot, and was a self-confident and strong admirer of himself, often staring into a mirror and citing, "Lord you handsome devil you!!" followed by noises of disbelief that he could be so perfect and good looking.

Fortunately for my Dad, a long time ago he ran across a woman who was in complete agreement about how wonderful and handsome he was, and she never minded him dimming her spotlight on any holiday, she would gladly stand by and laugh softly when he received gifts on her days, as of course she was never treated with any less love and appreciation. Yes we celebrated those designated holidays, but also celebrated our regular days. Our family was always taught the importance of every day love and appreciation, and life is too short to allow anybody to wonder what they mean in our lives. We never know how many days, weeks or just hours that we have left with someone so I do not need a special day to let you know that you absolutely are appreciated, and you most certainly own acreage in my heart (It's more than big enough to house those who have earned a place there). I'm going to let you know that even on a Wednesday, June 15th at 2:00 in the afternoon, or on Saturday at 3:00 AM if it occurs to me to do so.

Because that is ME... that's who I am, and I get it from my MAMA and my DADDY, both who deserve their very own national holiday, but who were both just as happy if they never had even one. Because they raised me to be selfless, strong and full of love. That is why I want to share with you fathers (by blood or by bond), this Father's day my love and appreciation for who you are, what you do, and all the positive influence you bring to this world, REAL FATHERS, DADS, MEN by just being you: Today, this Sunday and everyday.

Ladies, you keep doing your thing too, you know you're appreciated every day, but watch yourselves, keep it together and take a page of their book because these real men ain't playin around, they are really bringing their A-Game, and you bout to get left behind! ;-)

Now a Little Father's Day Fun

CLICK TO SEE: Best and Worst Animal Dads

***Now, Go ahead and cry a little*** -->

Dear Deborah,

Words do not come easily for so many men. We are taught to be strong, to provide, to put away our emotions. A father can work his way through his days and never see that his years are going by. If I could go back in time, I would say some things to that young father as he holds, somewhat uncertainly, his daughter for the very first time. These are the things I would say:

When you hear the first whimper in the night, go to the nursery leaving your wife sleeping. Rock in a chair, walk the floor, sing a lullaby so that she will know a man can be gentle.

When Mother is away for the evening, come home from work, do the babysitting. Learn to cook a hotdog or a pot of spaghetti, so that your daughter will know a man can serve another's needs.

When she performs in school plays or dances in recitals, arrive early, sit in the front seat, devote your full attention. Clap the loudest, so that she will know a man can have eyes only for her.

When she asks for a tree house, don't just build it, but build it with her. Sit high among the branches and talk about clouds, and caterpillars, and leaves. Ask her about her dreams and wait for her answers, so that she will know a man can listen.

When you pass by her door as she dresses for a date, tell her she is beautiful. Take her on a date yourself. Open doors, buy flowers, look her in the eye, so that she will know a man can respect her.

When she moves away from home, send a card, write a note, call on the phone. If something reminds you of her, take a minute to tell her, so that she will know a man can think of her even when she is away.

Tell her you love her, so that she will know a man can say the words.

If you hurt her, apologize, so that she will know a man can admit that he's wrong.

These seem like such small things, such a fraction of time in the course of two lives. But a thread does not require much space. It can be too fine for the eye to see, yet, it is the very thing that binds, that takes pieces and laces them into a whole.

Without it, there are tatters.

It is never too late for a man to learn to stitch, to begin mending.

These are the things I would tell that young father, if I could.

A daughter grows up quickly. There isn't time to waste.

I love you,
― Lisa WingateDandelion Summer


BBC said...

I remember my dad beating the shit out of grandma's date one christmas eve cuz he was being a pain in the ass.

Bizarro Aunt Jackie said...

Haha that's funny.