Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

The weather isn’t that great here and the boys are off to play at their grandmother’s house so we’ll have a few hours to work on art in the studio. I actually have a pretty busy work schedule coming up this week so the weekends are slowly reverting back to meaning something like they did in the old days: two days to get done everything that was neglected during the week like art and yard work. Though the feeling that every day is the same really never goes away when you “work” from home.  Even a day like Sunday, or Father’s Day is basically just another day. I’m with the kids and wife every day so the idea of doing something “special” on this particular day is kind of unrealistic and impractical. If we want to do something we go out and do it. For example on a typical “work day” while everyone else is slaving away in some office you might find me in the yard explaining first hand what slugs and centipedes are to the boys. I know it sounds strange but that’s the reality of the world our little family now lives in. Trust me, for several reasons, I wish things were like the way it was, where I had some 40 hour a week job to go to (with healthcare and benefits) and then I could try to jam a lifetime with the kids into 7-9pm and weekends. People who have steady work get to do cool things like go on vacation, send their kids to college, and retire.  Life for us is pretty much one continuous grind to survive with our sanity and livers intact. Granted I did just buy myself a new lawn mower, so not all is lost just yet.

Yesterday I freshened up the garden adding new stakes to the tomato plants and re-stringing up the pea plants with wood stakes instead of the little bamboo stakes. I tied fresh twine from stake to stake for the peas to train themselves on as well. I thinned out the radishes. Not having the heart to throw out the little baby radish plants I put them in little pots and will offer them free to whomever wants them. Maybe they won’t survive but it’s worth a shot.

We’ve got a second round of birds making nests on top of our porch columns so we’ll see what comes of that. I was going to clean the front column outside my office window but now I see birds coming and going occasionally so maybe they are making a nest or raiding the old nest for spare parts.

A quick thanks to my dad and all the dads out there.

I’d be completely lost without my dad’s years of guidance and advice. It would have been a lot easier if I would have gotten his gene for financial acumen, but the next best thing has been his never-ending patience for my never-ending list of questions when it comes to money and life matters. He’s saved me from financial, and personal ruin countless times, despite my best efforts to piss away every red cent I’ve ever earned, borrowed or found in the couch cushions. I’m pretty sure that once he wise-s up and stops taking my phone calls, I’ll sink like a stone.

But maybe that’s the funny thing about dads, and the guys in all of our lives that play the role of “dad”. They spend a life time teaching us stuff, and we look up to them in awe (when we’re not too busy thinking we know more than them). Then we get ourselves in some tight situation where “dad” is not around. And after we get past the “holy crap I’m going to a) die, b) get arrested, or c) get arrested and die” stage we realize that, almost by osmosis, dad taught us a lot of really awesome things that generally prevent really bad things from happening to us. Dad taught us to be strong, smart, stylish, and funny. Dad taught us about how to fix stuff with a wrench, or logic, or a kind honest word. Dad taught us how to treat people with respect and kindness.

Most importantly he taught us to believe in ourselves. That when faced with adversity or opportunity we can honestly say “I’ve got this. No problem.” to ourselves and mean it. Courage, persistence, and strength were invented by a father I believe. Dad’s teach us to stand up for what we believe in, even if it’s at odds with what they themselves believe in some of the time. They teach you to lay it out on the line and to take calculated risks, if it’s the right thing to do.  Letting fear keep us from doing something worthwhile isn’t a viable option for Dads. In my opinion stubbornness and challenging of authority is borne of fathers too, much to the ironic chagrin of dad in their children’s teen years.

Being a dad has a lot to do with testing patience. A fathers job lacks the fanfare of being a mother. It’s harder to articulate, and even harder to appreciate. And I suspect that is just the way dads prefer it to be. When you’re a dad you have to leave a lot of the piss and vinegar of your youth behind and replace it with a sense of cool, calm and collected-ness. You bite your lip a lot when you have a kids that are depending on you. His whole means of providing may be in the hands of someone he wouldn’t let bag groceries for fear that they’d screw it up. But fathers take the high road.  They say “Yes ma’am” and “Yes sir“, with no one the wiser for it. There’s no way to say for sure how often this happens, but I ‘m certain it does all the time. We learn about responsibility and sacrifice from our dads; we learn when to speak up and when to keep our mouths shut.

Thanks to all the dads out there. The ones that are around, and the ones that stuck around even when things didn’t always work out the way they were supposed to. Thanks to the dads who fill in throughout our lives…teachers, coaches, friends and family….even the wonderful ladies who fill in when dad’s not around. Thanks to those fathers that went off to make the world a better place for the next generation and never came back. And thanks for the ones we’ve lost back here at home. You’ve taught us well. The all a lot better off because of you. We will pass on your wisdom, humor and love to our children, have no doubt.

Thanks to all the dads in my life. My dad of course for his patience, love and for taking me fishing. Eternal optimism is born of fishing I believe.  Thanks dad for giving me the knowledge and tools to be a provider and loving father in my own right. Also my brothers and brothers-in-law who gave me text-book examples on how to be an awesome dad. These guys make it look easy, each in their own unique way. I’m not that great yet but give me time. To my friends who are fathers and treat my kids with kindness and understanding as if they were their own. And to my father-in-law who shares his passion for life and the game of golf with me; teaching me how much there is to learn about life from chasing a little white ball around a course.

Well back to work for me.  Enjoy your day dads.

Me and dad c.1973.

Me and dad c.1974.

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