Saturday, June 19, 2010

Days of our fathers

Tomorrow morning, I'll wake up and it'll be Father's Day. And as much as I enjoy having our kids excitedly bounce into our room in the morning, I can't shake the overwhelming feeling that this entire thing is a crock.

Right on, folks, I'm a curmudgeon.

I'm under no illusion that days like this are anything more than manufactured excuses designed to sell stuff. For weeks now - well, essentially since Mother's Day wound down - stores everywhere have fallen over themselves coming up with new ways to market the same old stuff:
  • Wouldn't Dad love to cook eggs in this teflon-coated, high-tech frying pan? (Um, yes, but my wife's perfectly happy to share hers with me.)
  • Let Dad burn his own movies with this DVD burner! (Only if they're legally purchased.)
  • Dad deserves only the very best golf ball cleaner on the market! (Have they ever seen me play golf?)
I've never been comfortable with the forced nature of these so-called celebrations. Society more or less expects us to acknowledge the day in some tangible, material way, and heaven forbid we fail to meet expectations. Consider me not a fan. I like my celebrating to be genuine and spontaneous, thank you very much.

Today also reminds me that, in this year of firsts, it's my first Father's Day without my own father. Not that I needed a reminder in any form - it's with me every waking moment of every day - but having to face it down within the additional context of an artificial, commercially-driven excuse of a day is something I could just as easily live without.

So when tonight turns into tomorrow, I'll count the minutes until our munchkins come bouncing into our bed and begin to color the day happy. And as it should always be, nothing else will matter beyond that moment of indescribable joy. If we're lucky, they'll do the bouncing thing again tomorrow. Because connecting with dad - or anyone else in your family, for that matter - shouldn't need a special day.


torontopearl said...

You're right, Carmi. If we're lucky enough, every day should be deemed Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day...
It's my second year without my dear dad; I'm planning on going to his grave tomorrow, as well as my grandfather's. These are the men/elders who were very significant in my life, whom I loved.
Thinking of you and your dad today...

kenju said...

So true. We should live each day acting as if it is everyone's special day. Happy Father's Day anyway, Carmi.

Pearl said...

know what you mean, Carmi, on both parts. the market-prescribed holidays make me uncomfortable. my first father's day without my dad too.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of "Hallmark holidays" but Father's Day has always been special to me: it was started 100 years ago by a woman in our hometown to honor the father who raised her and her 5 younger brothers (her mother died when Sonora was 16). The work that Sonora did throughout her life was a tribute to her father.
From your writing, I can see how much you value your own fatherhood and what a tribute your life is to your dad. Blessings to you, not only today but every day.