Pere. Padre. Pater. Dad.

Another Father's Day rolls around, and at any time of the day one of the following thoughts runs through my head:

  • Gee, I hope I'm being a good father.
  • Gee, I kinda wish my own dad was around.
  • I'm sure glad my father in law is so cool.
  • Am I supposed to get my mom a present, because that just doesn't seem fair.
  • After giving me two fantastic kids, I don't know how The Lovely Wife will top that this Father's Day (but I can't wait to see what I get anyway.)

As you see, I'm sort of stuck between Father's Day being about my relationship with my father, and my relationship with my kids. I suppose every parent's day is like this (where the same gender, different generation holds true.) When I think about my father, a few memories seem to stick out: playing basketball with him, and by high school how I eventually got better at it than him; the first time I officially drank with him (we made a tower out of Kokanee and Labatt Genuine Draft doinky* cans), the time we went camping and fishing with a friend of his, and we tipped the canoe about 30 feet from shore and when we reached the land again, I was so distraught that I'd lost my fishing rod, only to find out that it was still in my tightly clenched fist. Okay, so there are a lot of memories, now that I think of it.

So many of my memories of my father are centred around music. Like the time he came home with a $300 Neil Diamond record and it came with a free phonograph**, or how he showed me how to work a reel-to-reel machine so I could go through his collection of Harry Chapin and the Carpenters music. Or how when we took that long drive from Winnipeg to Edmonton in 1987, we struck a deal where we'd agreed to take turns at the tape deck, and how I learned that Tanya Tucker wasn't so bad, and Dad learned to tolerate the Police and Def Leppard. That summer trip showed us a new side of each other's personality, and it was possibly one of the best summers of my adolescence. But what I remember so well was the music.

So here's my little tribute to fathers of a certain era.

And because I know he'd just smile and nod, and let it go:

Happy Father's Day.

*Canadians may remember the novelty, 30-sided cans that Labatt came out with when they introduced this beer. As I recall, you could only ever count the sides for the first couple of beers, after which you had to make someone stop you after you counted over 250 sides.

** Dad was the king of creative justification.

Posted bythemikestand at 6:51 PM  

2 stepped up to the mike:

SRH said... 9:46 PM, June 18, 2007  

It is amazing how much more this day means when you cross the threshold of parenthood.

Tabba said... 3:10 PM, June 19, 2007  

I can so relate to this....having these memories tangled up with your dad and the music.

So much of my childhood is defined by what music my dad & I were listening to at particular moments. It has shaped and molded me and my tastes musically today.

I believe it is one of the single greatest gifts to be given.

thank you for sharing this.

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