I have felt quite misty-eyed today, as all the lovely photos have popped up on Facebook celebrating fatherhood.
of today’s Dads, with their littl’uns, engaged in all manner of activities, from the sporting to the leisurely. Poignant photographs of long-ago brides on the arms of proud papas tenderly giving their daughters away at the altar. Lots of
people refer to their fathers as “my hero” which is just about the sweetest accolade anyone can pay their Old Man.
Mr B, as I have told you before,
doesn’t hold any great store with Father’s Day which he believes was dreamed up by greetings cards manufacturers after they discovered the money-making potential of Mother’s Day. I am one of those who persist in calling “my” day
Mothering Sunday, rather than Mothers’s Day – which causes annual grief to my off-spring who try their hardest to find appropriately worded cards. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters is the best at this, generally (she tells me with disarming honesty)
buying two cards the same – one for me and one for her mother-in-law, who shares my taste in greetings. We have come such a long way from the days when servant girls returned home for the day, bearing home-baked buns and flowers plucked from the
hedgerows they passed on their journey.
Despite his strongly held (and often voiced) views on Father’s Day, Mr B was very pleased to open his cards this
morning, all four having arrived, for once, in advance of the day. The card from the Youngest of the Darling Daughters depicts three children engaged in making a card for their father: “I’m writing a poem inside Dad’s card about all the exciting
things he likes to do! Now what rhymes with dozing?” Fortunately Mr B takes it on the chin. With a grin. The grin comes in handy again when he opens the card from the Middle of the Darling Daughters which tells him “You’re losing it
Dad – one hair at a time.” The card from the Eldest of the Darling Daughters advises him to “Relax – it’s Father’s Day!” above a cartoon in which four baby owls career around a bed beneath the covers of which
a recumbent figure reposes in a state of happy abandon. All four cards are now displayed proudly on the mantelpiece, replacing the anniversary and birthday cards which have had their Week of Glory and have now taken up residence in my 2014 Memories Box.
I have a Memories Box for every year since the early 90s. One day soon, when I have a child or a grandchild around to share the experience, I will take down one of the early boxes and look through its contents. I rather fear I shall be amazed at just
what I thought was important enough to keep, way back when...
In common with lots of people whose fathers have died, Father’s Day brings a mix of happy and
poignant memories. As I know I have told you before, my dear Dad had an amazing gift for making even the most ordinary event special. Outings to Shoeburyness (our nearest seaside) where we brewed up tea on a primus stove – and taking the
train to the end of Southend Pier, the longest pier in the country (“Last train back!”) Playing, by ear, any tune you could think of on his faithful piano – he never had a piano lesson in his life but had a magic touch on the ivories.
Buying me my first school uniform when I passed “The Scholarship” and insisting that no expense be spared in purchasing clothes which fitted perfectly, rather than ones I would have to grow into – because he knew it would be a scary business
venturing into this new world and I would need to be able to hold my head up high. It’s only now, as an adult, that I realise how hard it would have been for him to find the money for the luxury of a uniform that fitted.
Those readers with their wits about them may have been wondering why I mentioned earlier the cards Mr B received from his Darling Daughters but not the one from our son. Our Boy’s
card reads: “A great Dad helps to make a great family – and that’s exactly what you’ve always been.”
You see, that’s
why I disagree with Mr B about Father’s Day. It’s important to have a day when we can celebrate fatherhood, say thanks to our dads and remember everything they mean – or meant – to us.
Great Dads make great families.