Some Things Never Change....
Updated: Mar 8
I have a lot of Father’s Day presents to buy as our father family headcount continues to grow. So, I’ve been browsing the mall stores for some good gift ideas and recently stumbled across this Father’s Day display. Not to pick on Crate and Barrel, one of my all time favorite stores, but really? This display suggests to me that being a father is such a tough job that it requires stiff doses of alcohol for survival. I have a problem with that on a few levels.
That day, I was also shopping for some comfortable chairs for our lake house (as there are never too many reading nooks), and the very charming sales woman who was helping me, stood quietly as I ranted about the display. Shy 'ole me (already knowing the answer) asked if they had put out a similar display for Mother’s Day. After all, the moms are typically the ones exhausted after the daily completion of feeding, clothing, bathing and caring for the kids, schlepping to all ends of the universe for school, sports and other activities- even holding down a job and on and on while dad is 'stereotypically’ tending the grill with beer in hand - or in the case above, bourbon, because a beer no longer does the trick. I have an inkling that some moms may need that stiff drink far more than the dads.
And then there is the bigger question. Is fatherhood really so stressful that it requires the antidote of liquor? I get that our "dog eat dog” careers can sometimes generate that much stress, but rarely in my close to 40 years of parenting and grand parenting (minus of course, my daughters' teenage years) have I ever needed to dull my senses after a day with my children. They have been my heart and soul, my favorite people and I am tickled to have every hour I can get with them.
Children have a beautiful, innocent way of nourishing our soul and our fun center. They make us laugh at incredibly silly things and recall so many of our own imaginations and dreams. I remember when our eldest was just a few months old and we lived in Saint Louis. That spring, we brought her to NJ to see her grandparents. When we walked into the house, they were all sitting in my parent’s living room and within seconds all four of them began making the goofiest, silliest sounds to get little Carrie laughing. Two of them were even on the floor. The grandfathers, typically serious people, were acting absolutely nuts and their behavior blew my mind. Carrie thought they were all terrifically hysterical. Three are gone now and the last is in very poor health. There is little I wouldn’t give up this very moment to relive that joyous day of parenthood.
In my opinion, from my little corner of the cosmos, Father’s Day should be a celebration of all that is wonderful about parenthood and our universal, yet unique relationships with our children. I can think of so many healthier, more enriching display options that embrace the priceless, special relationship children have with their dads and the many activities they could be imagining versus escapism with hard achohol. What do you think?