Thursday, June 17, 2010

Faux Holidays

If Mother's Day is a holiday formulated by Hallmark (second highest sales day of the year), then I have to believe that Father's Day is probably the child of Sears or Home Depot. I've been reminded that Father's Day is Sunday and there's a gathering of extended family to celebrate all the Dads. I'm grateful for that. This kind of homogeneous gathering takes the pressure off of everyone. I have three offspring. One hasn't spoken to any family member in over twelve years. Another lives 1500 miles away and is filled with her own life as am I. This leaves the chore to Amanda. This way the pressure is off her and even more so, off me. This way I won't have to pretend to be gaga over a present. Not that she doesn't give good presents, she usually does. But there have been times in my past where I've been blessed with presents like The ultimate flower arrangement book. Or, Tai chi in four easy lessons. Or maybe even something cool like a good cigar, but whatever, this way I'll share the moment with other fellows and we are all off the hook. Amanda's little friends are now grown ups and we have a surge of new babies, so the new fathers will hopefully be the focus and take the pressure off us old guys.

My Dad died when I was very young so I never had the pressure of remembering Fathers Day. If on January the first you asked me what day in the year Father's Day fell on, I couldn't tell you. If you asked what month Father's Day fell on, I couldn't tell you. I can tell you that Valentines Day (another Faux Holiday) is in February - I think. And, Mother's Day is in May. I'm pretty sure - didn't we just have that? But that's pretty much the extent of what sticks in the cobwebs of my mind. New Years Day is January first. I still have the facility to figure that out. The Fourth of July usually falls on July fourth. Thanksgiving is tougher but I think it is always on the third Thursday of November. The two I'm really certain of is Christmas on December 25th and opening Quail Season day which does fluctuate but is always within the first two weeks of October. See, the important days stick with you.

Seriously though, to me Father's Day came when my first grandchild was born, and when Amanda got her Masters Degree and when my daughters married good men and when I see the little things in them that make me realize that they are of good character and filled with moral strength. When I notice a phrase or mannerism that I realize came only from me. When I knew that Amanda could not only bait her own hook, but also help her Daddy clean the fish. When I hear her laughter across the yard during a party and I know that she has that Jackson sense of humor.

That's my Father's Day.

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