Well tomorrow is Father’s Day. I had a project to do at home over the weekend and it’s on hold because I’ve been told to prepare for a whole day of fun so I don’t know what Becky and the little criminals have in mind. Fathers Day is a hard pill for me to swallow. Mothers Day is awesome. You get to celebrate the one who brought you into this world and sacrificed for you and if a husband you get to honor your wife who brought forth life in the form of your child. But Father’s Day is a different matter entirely. I grew up with a father, well sperm donor is more like it and a step-dad who until about I was 19 did either of us realize that somehow through our turbulent relationship we had somehow persevered to become father and son. I did live with my biological father for three years of my life as an early teen, of course I didn’t see him very often but I did learn how to be a good salesman, although you don’t see many newspaper ads for a coke and reefer sales route. Last time my SD called me was to find out Kyle’s middle name, Kyle was 4 at the time and it was the first time he had acknowledged he had another grandson. The time we had talked before was as I was coming out of the ICU, I had just made the decision to have my daughter delivered by C-section and was certain I WAS condemning my wife, who was in a coma, to die. His words were, “Why didn’t you call me?” Now you see why I waited until late in life to have kids in the first place. I’m not good father material. But, I’m the luckiest man alive today. I have three of the most awesome kids.
I was thinking about that as I was playing backgammon on POGO this morning. Well actually I was thinking of some of the negative things about my kids and somehow, I started comparing their actions with the actions of my youth and I realized, how truly lucky I am. See Tim, the oldest and the one with the IQ that made school officials stand up and take notice brought home a C in French for the last quarter. Why, because he hadn’t studied on a few quizzes, knew he would have a B and decided not to do his last 2 homework assignments. He thought they wouldn’t pull his grade down below a B, so why not be a slacker. He was wrong, Homey don’t play that in the IB program. So naturally I’m upset, but then I remembered at 16 I decided to skip the whole third quarter of classes after lunch. Yep I called it a day after lunch. The only class I passed was P.E. and that’s because as a football player the coach didn’t make us report and never turned in absence slips. My penalty after the school office finally became aware of it? I was reassigned to the High School in my neighborhood zone, Castlemont High School. It had 2 shootings, 1 murder and 2 rapes the year before. I would be the only student of my pale color and I would be escorted from the front door in the morning by security guard to and from classes until they escorted me back on my own bus in the afternoon. I opted for a full time job and paid my own way through private school the last two years, so maybe I should realize a 16 year old is going to make mistakes and I’m damn lucky his only results in a C grade for the quarter.
My princess of a daughter is becoming the emotional queen at age 11. There’s a very good chance it’s those lovely teenage hormones kicking in but she can cry like the world has abandoned her at the drop of a hat. My biggest complaint, she refuses to keep her room clean. This is the room that Becky hand painted all the murals and decorated it to look like Swiss Family Robinson goes to Africa, complete with a banyan trees, monekys, grass painted floor, and a raised bed that I personally built for her and invested about 40 hours of manual labor making. You would think she would appreciate what she has as my room growing up was a laundry shed that had been opened up to the house, 6.5’ x 8’. Of course she is one of the most compassionate child I know, wants to be a vet and except for a dirty room I rarely ever have a reason to raise my voice or give her a stern look. Yep, I know, I’m a jerk for complaining and not realizing how good I’ve got it.
The youngest, well, he’s my jock and he’s big, fast and talented. He jumps up to Mighty Mites this year in football. He’s with the youngest players in this age bracket, but last night as we fathers bring our boys out for dads and sons football. We can’t refer that it has anything to do with Pop Warner or we would have to void our season even though our sons will all be on the same team and Kyle is going to be about the 3rd of 4th biggest player on the team. His ranking in strength, speed and agility is 4th on the squad and he’s expected to be a starter both on offense and defense. As someone who loves football with a passion that I do, I couldn’t be prouder. Of course, we’re talking about the same kid that night after night we have to fight him to go to bed. He has every bad quality that either I or his mother possesses. If allowed he could cuss worse than a sailor and I am so scared he’ll grow up to be like me and not rise above me. I can get so wrapped up with looking to see how many faults of mine he has that I hear but don’t listen to how many parents come up to Becky and I joking if they could borrow Kyle for a week or two so their kids would learn to be as polite, would hold the doors open for them, would talk quietly in a house and say ma’am and sir. See, he’s already risen past me so when you call me a jerk go ahead and tell me how blind I am also.
So tomorrow, as we enjoy Father’s Day and I open some cards and unwrap some presents and we spend the day doing whatever the kids and Becky have planned. It may be called Fathers Day, but for me, it will be Kids Day and inwardly I’ll shed a tear and be terribly thankful for what I have, as, I’m not the best father. I’m not the best parent and I don’t have perfect kids, but what I do have are children, who know right from wrong, who know the value of good decisions, who are happy, are loved and know how to love and when they are grown, employed, married and have families of their own and I am just about to meet my maker, then, I’ll have Fathers Day. I’ll smile to myself and then and only then will I tell myself, job well done.
HAPPY KIDS DAY!