It’s that time of year again, to make sure you get the card in the last post or to give him a call on Sunday to say sorry for forgetting to send a card – again; it’s Father’s Day.
But for some of us Father’s Day isn’t something that we’re ever part of, it’s for other people. I hear people talk about it and while all the words make sense, it just doesn’t really register. I imagine this is what it is like for people who don’t celebrate Christmas, once a year the whole world goes mad and you’re not really sure why. Of course Father’s Day is on a scale a whole lot smaller than Christmas, it’s even possible that you could fail to notice the whole day – if you don’t really have a father.
My father split when I was very young. I saw him a few times until I was about 10 but I haven’t seen him since then. I guess I’m more fortunate than people who never got to meet their father or don’t even know who he is. But I never had a dad and to be honest I’m not really sure what it is a dad is or does. Sure, I could write about what a father does in terms of raising a kid, but most of it would be guess work, probably right, but guess work still, because I have absolutely no personal experience of it.
There was no dad on birthdays or even in the morning at breakfast. There was no dad at sports day or Christmas Day. No football games or talks about girls. I was raised by mum along with my two sisters and I can’t identify with any other way of growing up.
When people talk about Father’s Day, I realise it’s not only a day that I will never be able to identify with but also a big part of growing up – having a dad around.
It won’t be sadness that I feel this Sunday but rather an awareness that something that most other people experience (some of whom will take it for granted – I guess that’s the point of the day) is something that you will never, ever be part of.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have children of my own and be on the receiving end of Father’s Day but I think even then there will be a shadow, and while I only notice it two or three times a year, I suppose the shadow is always there.
So this Sunday there will be some of us thinking about the dads that we never knew and I suppose there will be plenty of dads thinking about where did it all go wrong – but I don’t think that is what Father’s Day is about. It’s about a card through the door or quick phone call to make sure he’s alright, and a smile and a “thanks”.
That’s how it’s supposed to be. But then some things that are supposed to be never happen.
Happy Father’s Day everyone.