Father’s Day is like a second birthday that you share with a lot of people. You get phone calls, texts, emails, messages on social media, etc from some of everyone who are acknowledging what you feel is your greatest accomplishment Men feel validated by their work and there are very few things that lift spirits like the appreciation on the third Sunday in June.
Fatherhood is rooted in providing and protection. While we are nurturing, we are a different kind of caretaker. We want to make sure everyone’s needs are met. If anyone has a dream or a goal…what can we do to get our loved ones from their current location to the proverbial mountain top. It’s mostly a thankless job, because the only people who really understand what you do and what it takes to make shit happen are other fathers.
This is the reason why I love Father’s Day in the age of social media. I am thankful to say that I didn’t see anyone wishing their mothers a happy Father’s Day on any timelines. Sure, there are no badges or tags to put on pictures like the “I Love Mom” one for Facebook (thus proving how little we give a shit about dad); but seeing how my friends and peers treated their fathers, grandfathers, and fathers of their children is heartwarming. I enjoyed seeing the statuses in which the fathers themselves bragged about how much they were taken care of on their day. It’s the kind of high that you’re more than happy to be feeling hungover from the next morning.
My favorite editor sent me a Happy Father’s Day text. I replied “Thank you,” and she asked me what plans did I have for the day. Then it hit me: the perfect metaphor to describe fatherhood…
I am a lifelong Yankee fan. Yes, I grew up in Queens; but my grandfather was from the Bronx and I began following his favorite team because that’s who and what he watched. I had a very hard time coaching my nephew’s baseball team this year because they were the Red Sox. So for Father’s Day, my nephew organizes a trip for the boys and their families to Citi Field to watch the Mets. While I am supportive of all New York teams, I’m not a Met fan. It’s something to do and the tickets were bought for us all to have a good time; so I might as well take it for what it is and enjoy.
While I’m at the game, I gotta buy souvenir cups to get my money’s worth for this beer; which means taking home a Mets cup. My five year old daughter is only but so interested, so she must be entertained and I can’t just watch baseball
and do what I really want to do: get drunk. Everyone has such a great time at the game, you can bet that everyone will want to and ask to go to more Mets games. And you can’t say no; everyone thinks they’re doing the right thing and it’s something that you like: baseball. They are attempting to bond with you even though it’s not the baseball team you like…you’ve been bred to not like the Mets and treat them like the never-do-right little brothers that they are.
Once again, you can’t say no because people’s feelings will be hurt. You’re too deep in it to turn around, so you 1) Just go with it. 2) Suffer in silence until someone notices you at home watching a Yankee game and says “Oh, you’re a Yankee fan?! I didn’t realize that,” and it opens up the door for dialog where you convince someone into what you want and make them think it’s their idea (This is the dream that NEVER happens). 3) Suffer in silence. or 4) Just give up and become a Met fan. That is fatherhood in a nutshell.
After the game, I sat in my neighbor’s yard and explained to the fathers this epiphany I just had. Ranging from new fathers to being a grandfather several times over, we all laughed and they agreed.
I say all of this to say Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers who continue to read because I wrote it. You are all appreciated. Keep up the great work. My work day is cut short because Cydney threw up this morning and is home.