Today’s newspaper had a feature article about people recalling the best advice their fathers ever gave them.
I don’t remember my dad ever giving me any standout advice. He wasn’t a very “hands on” parent; like most men who became fathers in the 50s he was focused on his job and left the child-raising stuff to my mom. He spent long hours at the office, and when he was home he was often in his study, working, and my brothers and I weren’t supposed to bother him.
In later life he said he regretted that, and should have spent more time with us. I don’t think my brothers and I ever had a problem with the amount of time Dad spent with us–he tended to think up neat things to do, like going on picnics up in the mountains, or spending a lazy Sunday afternoon sitting on the side of the hill leading down to the airport runway, watching the planes come and go. He took us to the ballpark now and again to watch baseball games, or to the high school stadium to watch football. He always got us seats on the “visitors’” side, because he said they were better. I think my oldest brother, whose sense of order and logic were uniquely his own, had objections to that philosophy, but Dad bought the tickets and Dad decided where we sat.
I sometimes would watch sports on TV with Dad, just to be doing something with him. I was never a major sports fan (and not even Dad could make TV golf interesting enough for me to sit still for it). But sitting there listening to Dad explain the game was always worth while.
Dad died four years ago after a long struggle with Alzheimers and other illnesses. I don’t have much of a problem with the anniversary of the day he died, or with his birthday. I always miss him on Father’s Day, though.
He might not have given me any memorable advice, but he was a good father. Happy Father’s Day, Dad, wherever you are. I miss you.Hope you'll recommend my posts via your favorite social media. Just don't copy the material as your own.