It’s Father’s Day today and none of my children have sent me a card or brought me breakfast in bed or anything.
I couldn’t be happier.
It’s not just that it’s a bullshit excuse for a day – a prototype “but when is it international MEN’s day eh?”, although that’s part of it I suppose. For me it’s more personal than that.
I never really knew my father. It’s not his fault I suppose, there was ten thousand nautical miles between us, it was never going to be practical for him to rock up on Saturday morning and take me to football practice. And that’s okay, it really is, whatever psychological trauma it caused me has long been consigned to history. I’ve built a life of my own since then and that life is working out pretty well on the whole.
Anyway, back to the point, I never really understood the concept of Father’s Day – hell, I’m not ever really sure it was a thing in the 70’s and 80’s? It was just another day.
Fast forward a few decades and I have three children of my own, and I’ve spent the last twenty-five years playing down the importance of Father’s Day (and, for that matter, my birthday). Do I really need a hastily scribbled “card”, probably produced under duress, to remind me that my children love me?
I see it when they’ve had a bad day at school and need to tell me, in excruiciating detail, exactly what he said and she said and then this thing happened and…
I see it when they’re moping around the house having apparently finished the internet, searching for something to do and looking to me for inspiration.
I see it in all the victories and sorrows of childhood, knowing that I’m there for them and they for me. They keep me grounded and happy in a hundred little ways, even when they don’t realise what day it is.
So, it’s Sunday, dinner’s in the oven, I’ve got bread proving in the airing cupboard and the kids are wandering the house in their pyjamas moaning that the wifi is slow or something.
It’s Father’s Day “today”, apparently.