There is very little one can say when one’s children call to wish a happy father’s day. What did I do to deserve them? Frankly, their mother was far more important to them and a far better parent, particularly on a day to day basis. I was in the position to enjoy them, something that seems a lot harder for mothers who feel the weight of responsibility for these lives they have created.
Parenting, at least in the way that we know it in 2010, is a long way from what it was in the 18th or 19th centuries. Children in those days were little people, expected to behave like adults. They were dressed like adults and treated as such and in countries where primogeniture was the rule, the oldest son was expected to recognize and pursue his responsibilities. How many tales have been written about children that could not achieve that sense of responsibility?
There is also a certain hypocrisy to “special” days that seem designed to get one to spend money. The cynicism is life long and I don’t remember celebrating either mother’s or father’s days. Fortunately, I (and my siblings) enjoyed my parents and told them so. Friends they were and still are, their corporeal finesse notwithstanding. He or she is truly lucky to have a parent as a friend. I am doubly so.