I don’t think I actually wished my dad a Happy Father’s Day yesterday.
I saw him. I ate supper with him, dining on a meal that he helped prepared by grilling steaks in the garage since there was a downpour. I practically sat next to him, only separated by Philip in his booster chair.
I know that I talked to him, but only briefly. There was the small talk at supper. His meal was interrupted by a work-related call, and that was a topic of discussion. We murmured with excitement when Philip picked up his sippy cup. But “Thank you” and “Happy Father’s Day” were not part of the conversation.
I didn’t even personally hand him the card that Philip “signed.”
He had sent me a text message in the late afternoon, but I didn’t see it until this morning. I didn’t even respond to it.
That’s part of Father’s Day Fail #2.
My brother and his family were also at the evening meal. I maybe might have wished my brother a Happy Father’s Day. Can’t remember now. He helped Dad with the grill. Didn’t thank him for that.
When we had made plans with my parents for Father’s Day, I only confirmed that we would have an evening meal. My family has been quite accommodating with scheduling such gatherings. They respect our need to keep Philip on a schedule; this includes an afternoon nap. Instead of having lunch time festivities, they have been kind enough to plan similar family get-togethers in the evenings after nap. So, they have been really thoughtful, but I neglected to find out what time my brother and his family would arrive. They live an hour south of us, so we don’t get to see them too often.
Turns out they got there around noon.
I was taking a nap at that time (I’m still in “sleep when the baby sleeps” mode). So was Philip. It’s not like we would have rushed over right then. But when Philip awoke before 3:00 pm, I could have called to check. I said to Peter, “Maybe I should call and find out what time they are coming,” but I didn’t. I also didn’t see the above mentioned text message at 4:00 pm letting me know they had already arrived.
Had we gone over then, Philip could have played in the backyard with his cousins. Instead, we drove over when the rain that had been threatening all day finally put in an appearance. And what an appearance it was. Looking out my parents’ front window I had remarked to Peter, “This is what they mean when they say the rain is coming down in sheets.”
Instead, Philip played with toys in the basement. He had fun with the toys, but at 11:30 pm last night as he was jumping on our bed and not looking the least bit tired, I was kind of wishing he had gotten a little more outdoor time and more rough and tumble play to wear him out. And not only would Philip had more time to play with his cousins, he would have had more time to spend with his grandpa. Since it was Father’s Day and all.
Here come Father’s Day Fails #3 and #4.
I’m not sure if these are two separate fails, but why not own up. I didn’t get a picture of my dad on Father’s Day. I also didn’t get a picture of Philip with his dad on Father’s Day. I carry that damn camera all over the place, yet I missed the photo opportunities. Or, rather, I didn’t create photo opportunities. I specifically didn’t take pictures earlier in the day thinking I would get a bunch over at my parents’. When that didn’t happen, I told Peter, “I need to get a picture of you with Philip on Father’s Day.”
At least I managed to wish my husband a Happy Father’s Day.
So, every blog post or Facebook status that I have read about Father’s Day has reminded me of my series of fails. Some of those posts are written about fathers no longer living. Those hit me in the gut. Here I am, my father still alive. For that I am grateful. But am I acting like it? Am I taking advantage of the time I get to spend with him? Am I making sure he knows how much I love and appreciate him?
So, to my dad, I finally say:
Happy Father’s Day!
Thanks for the steaks. They were very tasty (as you could tell from the way your grandson gobbled his pieces up)
Sorry you got that phone call about work.
Sorry we didn’t come over earlier.
Sorry I missed your text message.
Thanks for hosting the festivities.
Thanks for all of the things that you do to help us out.
Thanks for being my dad.