So today is Father’s Day. Apostrophe position debatable. To me, the position of the apostrophe isn’t the only problem with Father’s Day. It’s an exclusive day, a Hallmark holiday. Mothering Sunday has some history to it, Father’s Day is made up to sell cards and presents.
What do I want for Father’s Day? Nothing. I don’t need a present for doing my job as Isla’s dad. Seeing her smile every day is my present. When she puts her arms up to be picked up and gives me a kiss, it’s the only present I need. (That’s not to say I won’t be grateful for anything I receive, I always am. There’s always a difference between what we need and what we want. Sometimes you don’t know you want something until you’ve got it, but when it comes to needing things, I have everything I need… with the exception of a few 00 at the end of my bank statement, I need those).
I know it’s a day to show appreciation of all the things our fathers do for us, but I like to think I show that myself to my dad every day. My dad has done a hell of a lot for me, supported me through some real shit, financially and emotionally. At over 60 years old he literally built half my house and garden. He’s still round every day doing jobs. And soon he flies across the world to help out his other child and granddaughter (Not literally, he is a hero but he can’t actually fly). He’s an amazing grandpa too! Isla always puts her arms up for grandpa cuddles. Is a card and a t-shirt from Tesco really going to show that I am grateful for everything he does? Or is it the thank you at the end of every day? The I love yous. The praise of the things he does on a daily basis? I like to think every day is Father’s Day.
My other issue with today is as I eluded to earlier, it’s a member’s only club. However, it’s far too easy to become a member. Is everyone who is a Father, a good dad, or even a dad? It takes more than a bumpy night and donating sperm to be a dad, but anyone can be a father. The cards that say, ‘World’s Best Dad’, give me a break! Some fathers, like some mothers, just suck.
The problem is social media throws it all in our face. Should a mum who was left to raise 2 children feel the need to post a picture of ‘dad’ and the kids just because he sends money every month and makes token visits? Should dads, failed by a system which always favours the mother, miss out on today through no fault of their own? My other issue lies with the fact that being a parent is such a vulnerable position. I’ve come close to losing Isla more times than I will ever talk about and more times than most of you will ever even come close to. It’s taken for granted by so many but I know far too many daddies of angels. How does today make them feel? How does it make the mums feel? A day that should be celebrated is instead a massive reminder that they have been robbed of something so precious. They watch some ‘Fathers’ lauded as World’s Best Dad, when they barely deserve the title of dad, in an ideal world they themselves would have been contending for it. It’s not fair and it’s in your face. There will be families feeling the pain of loss that much more today, and while I’ve never walked in those shoes, either as a Dad or a child, I’ve had my feet measured, and my heart breaks for anyone suffering on days like today.
I know this sounds like a whinge, I promised I wouldn’t do that, but it’s not (it sort of is). My dad will get his card with a heart felt message inside, he’ll get his t-shirt (carefully selected hoping he’ll like it), he’ll get his Grandpa Peppa Pig socks to impress his granddaughter in New Zealand… those aren’t empty gestures, but they’re just not what Father’s Day should be about.
I’m not a perfect dad by any means. I can’t do pig tails, or even pony tails, I sometimes turn off the noisy toy she loves but has pressed the button repeatedly for over an hour, I sometimes lose my cool. However, I do my best and I keep her as safe as I can, clean, warm, clothed, mostly happy, definitely loved. I don’t need thanks for this. It’s my job. I love doing it. I’m grateful I can do it.
This post won’t change the world or the culture of online bullshit with artificial posts to boost someone’s ego whether they deserve it or not, but it’s my view on today. What will I be doing today? No plans (can’t really make plans where Isla is concerned because she’s the boss and dictates the day), just spending the day playing with my baby girl, cherishing every second like I do every day, telling my dad he’s awesome, like I do every day (ok most days, I don’t want him to have a massive head) and being thankful for the fact I am a dad.
Not every man is a dad but once you’re in the club it’s a life long membership.