For those of us who have reached our Golden Years, we love to fondly look back, share and reminisce about the good times and great acquaintances of our youth but then again, there would eventually be that exciting, sometimes scary occasion where we all had to grow up and get on with the rest of our lives. Some of my most cherished memories now come from the overwhelming joys and challenges along the way. I’m also striving hard to be a good father, grandfather, and hopefully a good and gracious husband.
We just recently returned from a rainy but warm trip to British Columbia, where we had a wonderful visit with my dad (94), my step-mom Jean (90), and my brother Peter and his family. Through the good times and the bad, happiness and joy, work and play, family adventures should always be the best years of our life, to always be shared and celebrated at every possible occasion. This coming Sunday, June 16, is one of those special events, as we honour Father’s Day in whatever way we may wish, among family and friends. Believe it or not, on Dad’s Day there are more collect phone calls than any other day of the year, so if they can’t make it back home, encourage them to call, or email, or tweet, or Skype, or whatever to keep that long distance love connection going strong.
As they all sit down this Sunday to celebrate with us good old boys at a backyard barbecue, the lake, cabin, or nice restaurant, we will likely share stories about the trials, tribulations and of course the countless triumphs we have survived and mostly enjoyed in those memorable chapters and exciting challenges of marriage, raising a family and retirement. As husbands and parents we have obviously had our ups and downs along the way as far helping to bring up the kids, as well as keeping the spark and the trust in the marriage. After 47 years of mostly wedded bliss, four children and four grandchildren I most probably made quite a few mistakes along the way but I will forever cherish the memories and have so many great people to thank for getting me through the tough turns in the road, while always encouraging me to seek the best of times.
As all of us from the male gender quickly realized this partner/child raising adventure won’t always be wine and roses but the results and fruits of our efforts will hopefully last for a lifetime. Just for some good old fun, here are some of compromises and rules that I think the guys have set while trying to be a great husband and father, and may quite likely cost me a week on the couch and a few disgruntled phone calls or emails.
• Men are not mind readers, and if something we said can be interpreted two ways, and one makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one. Yes and no are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question. If we ask what is wrong and you say “Nothing,” then we will act like nothing is wrong.
• Christopher Columbus did not need directions and neither do we. Also, we have tried to learn to work the toilet seat for years but sometimes we forget. We don’t mind giving back rubs but how about after meals because then we have more energy.
• You can either ask us to do something or tell how us you want it done but not both please. If you ask a question to which you don’t want an answer, expect an answer that you don’t want to hear. How tough is it to discipline our kids when we recall what we were like when we were them?
• You have too many clothes and shoes but when we have to go somewhere absolutely anything you wear looks just great.
• One of my dear wife’s favourite statements is: “Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during the commercials.” Our manly comeback is, “Always try to remember that our Sunday sports are like the full moon or the changing of the tides, so please let it be.”
• Ask us whatever you want but let’s be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work, strong hints do not work and obvious hints do not work — so just come right out and say it.
An ode to the man of the house
Sometimes we appear gruff and tough, and our whiskers get really rough;
But underneath we have a big, but often soft heart, and gentle hands;
And above all, will always have a great love and pride for our one and only little family.
Walk, ride, or run — get out and enjoy the summer sun, and have a great week, all of you!