Monday, June 20, 2005

Another Holiday, Hallmark variety

I am writing this late Sunday night, 19-Jun-2005. I didn't want to post this on that day, for some may take exception to my thoughts below (especially since, as this Blog is titled, Nobody asked me, but...).

This weekend, we travelled to visit family in NYC. All totaled, 3 nephews and 1 niece had some form of graduation celebration this month, so we all gathered at my parents to have a big to-do. With my siblings living in different corners (myself, included) these get-togethers don't happen nearly enough, so it was a good deal all around. My parents enjoy these gatherings immensely, and anytime they happen at their house, even more so.

Lots of good wishes and cheer, lots of food, good time had by all.
So what am I blogging about?

What is this Father's Day business?


In addition to celebrating the kid's graduations (and in the case of two of nephews, the celebration of their parents wedding anniversary), the day had my brothers and I wishing my dad a Happy Father's Day. I saw the grand kids wishing him well, and what I saw I could best describe as he accepting the good wishes, but certainly did not want to make a big deal of them. My brothers (those with kids, natch) seemed to revel in the backslapping and greetings, but I feigned enjoyment and replied in kind.

I don't get these holidays... like birthdays. Some have said I downplay my own birthday because I don't want to get old, but that's just silly reasoning: whether I embrace the day or not, I'm getting older, so what? Do I think if no one notices my birthday day I won't get old? Of course not.

When my much-better-half's birthday rolls around, or my kids, or my family or friends, I do whatever is appropriate and I make a decent show of it (at least I hope I do). I do it because they appreciate it, and seem to enjoy it. To me, their birthday its another day, and if my acknowledgement helps make them happy, great. On my birthday, I'd just as soon ignore it all and move on, but for those who think to mark it I gracefully thank them (and silently hope they move on). I mean, after all, what have I done to deserve praise on my birthday? That I woke up?

I have two sons, 9 and 2, and of course the 9 year old made a big deal of Father's Day; bigger than I would have preferred, but he didn't know that. At his age, who am I to offer this discussion to him? If he wants to make the day a big deal, I will certainly not interfere with him.

Near as I can tell, I am bluffing my way through fatherhood, and the only way to find out if I am doing a half-decent job or not is so far down the temporal highway that any cheers or the like today seem far too premature. And even then, should my kids become wildly successful, how much credit should I get? (Before you scoff, think of your response should I invert that last sentence 180 degrees).

My son's and I made a big deal out of Mother's Day, as we ought, because my much-better-half appreciates those gestures (or, perhaps, she's as big a con artist as I am). My dad, near as I can tell, never hated the attention but never sought it out, never reveled in it. And that's how I see myself.

So maybe I am reflecting my father's modesty, or maybe I am becoming jaded with age, I don't know. Maybe I see many of these holidays being rooted in the tradition of nothing more than selling greeting cards and ugly ties (note: I did not get any such ridiculous pieces of attire... my thoughts on ties may not yet be known to readers of this Blog, so I will have to expand on them another day).

Regardless of my thoughts, to any dads reading this, I hope yesterday was as grand a day for you as you'd like.

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