Just got off’ the phone with my dad, this being Father’s Day, and all. He’s having one of his good days: he knew who I was, and everything. He was his jovial old self, and what a relief. I wished him a very happy Father’s Day, and said that I loved him. He thanked me, and said something about being off to the ‘big show’, and hung up the phone. They’re bustling off to church, about now, which is what he meant by that, I expect; no longer in the church choir, but I’d bet’cha anything, he’s still gonna sing. He’s a nightingale, of sorts, always coming up with a song to fill in your sentences. That’s what I most remember about my dad, when I was a little kid, when I think of him. Man, did he ever have pipes. In fact, he was my first inspiration, aside from Doris Day.
I was just talking to my son’s girlfriend, who is the nicest girl, asking if she had called her dad yet, as they live in separate dwellings. Not yet, they have something planned for later this afternoon, she said. Good deal, I said. I’m glad for the both of you. I could have stopped there. But, yep, you guessed it. I continued.
“I know a lot of dads must feel they are owed recognition for their efforts, but I think it is we, the fathers, who should be thanking the family. After all, it is a privilege and an honor, to be able to watch your kids grow up, from what were, essentially, mere zygotes, to the sort of strapping young fellow you see standing before you,” I elaborated, gesturing to the ‘boy’, as you have read me refer to him, here, over, lo, these many years: who outweighs me by at least ten pounds, and is pushing six foot two…
“Who could rip my arms out of their sockets, if he chose to.”
They grinned at each other, my sixteen year old progeny, and his BFF, uncomfortably. ‘Let’s indulge him, and see where he takes this, give him all the rope he needs,’ their looks seemed to say.
“Of course, it’s also an ordeal, nothing like what a mom has to go through: hers is an heroic effort, most assuredly, and she deserves the lion’s share of praise, with nine months of load-bearing torture, while being stretched like a balloon, followed hard upon by having, essentially, a watermelon forced by Nature through an opening the size of a…”
“Dad!” Ryan interrupts me, just in the nick. I looked over at his friend. Her eyes were rolling back in her head. Good save, on his part. She did look a bit faint, come to think of it.
“Oh…yeah…. anyways. Big character builder, the whole thing.”
They wished me a good’n, and went for a run. But, I still had more ideas on the subject. So I finished my speech, by myself.
“So I don’t expect any big tadoo, for Father’s Day, nosir! No cards, no lunch, or dinner, or breakfast in bed…and a good thing, too.
“In fact, don’t feel y’all have to do anything special…or nothin’…for little old me…a simple “Happy Father’s Day, Daddyo,” will do….
unless, of course, you really, really, want to. Then, I suppose, I could indulge you.”