A Happy Father's Day to all you dads, especially to my father and brother.
I've come across a ton of videos, photo galleries, and stories over the past week or so, that claim to "celebrate" fathers, but a lot of them actually just make fun of dads. We have our quirks, to be certain, but there has to be something beyong clownishness worth celebrating, don't you think?
Because the problem is, when dads are seen as clowns, then the every day stuff we do is seen as overly special. The comedian Louis C. K. gave an interview a few days ago that got some attention for other subject matter, but I was really struck by something he said about being a single dad and having joint custody of his kids. He has a TV show where he plays a single dad. In one episode, he attended a PTA meeting and a mom at the meeting says to him "Just by showing up, you're father of the year." In the interview, Louis commented on how that plays out in real life:
When I take my kids out for dinner or lunch, people smile at us. A waitress said to my kids the other day, "Isn't that nice that you're getting to have a little lunch with your daddy?" And I was insulted by it, because I'm like, I'm f-ing taking them to lunch, and then I'm taking them home, and then I'm feeding them and doing their homework with them and putting them to bed. She's like, Oh, this is special time with daddy. Well, no, this is boring time with daddy, the same as everything. If I do something for my kids, I get a medal, because most fathers don't. If a mother makes a tremendous effort for her kids and does incredible things, no one gives a s-t, because she's a mom, and that's what she's supposed to do. It's like giving a bus driver a medal for driving straight ahead. Nobody's interested. And that's really not fair, but it is the way it is.
I agree, it's not fair, to mothers or fathers, and that kind of thing happened to me all the time when the kids were younger. (Pople would say to me all the time, when I was with my kids, "Oh, you're babysitting today?" No, I'm taking care of my kids. Babysitters are 15 years old and get paid to do this.)
So my little Father's Day rant is my way of saying thanks to my father for being around, when I was a kid, and now, and for teaching me to do the same. No medals necessary.
Happy Father's Day everyone.