Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

I want to take a moment this evening to wish everyone the happiest of hallmark holidays. Happy Father's Day to all of you fathers reading this blog. I'm pretty new at this, but I hope it stays as pleasing as the last three have been. We did nothing unusual (for a Sunday) we went to Elizabeth's parents house, my in-laws, swam and had barbecue. We saw Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show on TiVo, (It was really enjoyable I highly suggest it) and just relaxed. So why was this such an enjoyable or pleasing day? Dear reader, it wasn't really what we did.... Like I said we've done those sorts of things numerous times, always enjoyable, but not unusual.

It was much more intangible than that. I was always one of those teenagers that made fun of "Hallmark Holidays". If you would like to know the history of this holiday click here. I was the resident radical at my high school that argued against things that smacked of corporate creation and/or greed. Don't get me wrong I always got my father, and stepfather cards or gifts but I thought the idea of the holiday was a bit on the absurd. Why not honor your parents each and every day, why is such a day necessary?

Well, this was the first time that I think my three year old (Cassie), actually got some idea of the concept of Father's Day, and it was really nice to hear her say 'Happy Father's Day'. Now my question is what does this holiday mean to me. First and foremost, I feel the need to thank numerous people in this vein. My father and I have a complex relationship that I think is probably not uncommon once both child and parent are both adults. He has taught me many things about choices and how to make the right ones.

I would like to thank my stepfather for the many things he does. He has shown a great deal of wisdom in helping me handle some challenging situations. He has always been there for my mother and my brothers and sisters. I have had some challenging times, and he has always been there. It is important that fathers be there, for their children or stepchildren.

It is also very nice to know that I have been blessed with in-laws that I can go to with problems or concerns. I imagine that this positive relationship is unusual based on common stereotypes. My in-laws have been very supportive, and have made me feel comfortable in a city far away from New Orleans. It is nice to have that relationship, not everyone does.

I also feel the need to mention a few parental figures I have had in teaching. I've had fellow teachers, with much more seniority, that have helped me along the way. They've helped me with the obvious teaching questions and with the not so obvious ethical issues that sometimes arise in the workplace. I've been invited over for holidays, taken out for meals, and treated like family. These various people have tried to teach me office politics, among other things. For those of you that know me personally, I have not learned this lesson very well.

All in all, I've learned that this holiday is beneficial for the obvious. And yes it should not be necessary. But how often do we actually take a day to think about and thank the people that have made us the lovable, dysfunctional people that we are? I hope and pray it takes Cassie a lot less time to come to some of these conclusions than it took me.

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