One thing I have realised, on the run up to Fathers Day, is there are two types of Dads: those present and those not.
Now I know some of you might be reading that line thing “Oh well done Sherlock! Anyone could have told you that information.” and while that is true, most people say it flippantly or with contempt.
Now do not get me wrong, I understand some Dads are not present through no fault of their own and as a result some Dads can fall into both types. That said I am not saying they are on the same level as those Dads who simply leave. Also, from experience, I know that just because a Dad lives in your house, does mean he is present.
My Dad passed away a few years ago, the exact year I am not sure (I could find this information out, but it would require me giving him something he very rarely gave me: time) but I remember seeing the Facebook post from my cousins and niece at the time. I only remember it for the simple reason that on the hymn sheet thing they hand out at the crematorium, it said the wrong birth date for him. They put something like 14th August 1939 and it made me smirk for the simple reason, my Aunt, (his devoted sister, who was like a female version of him – not a compliment btw) who he saw as someone who could do nothing wrong, got his birth date wrong on the day of his funeral. I only remember his birthday because it was the same day as the Queen Mothers official birthday, 4th August and he used to say it all the time when I was little.
My Dad is the reason I did not know Irn Bru was bright orange. I know that sounds like the weirdest sentence a Scottish person could say (well one that you would understand anyway), but it is the truth. Until the age of 12 (when my parents divorced and my Dad moved out) I always thought Irn Bru was a very dull orange colour. Now, before you think I am absolutely bonkers (if you do not already), there are two main reasons for that 1. I was not really allowed to drink fizzy juice as a child, I like to think it was in case it rot my teeth (but more perhaps it was too expensive as my Mum could barely afford to feed 3 kids on her benefits and preferred the taste of diluting juice so we got it too) and 2. my Dad was an alcoholic, he always had a tumbler (never call it a glass or he would moan for an hour about it) of whiskey (High Commissioner to be precise) and Irn Bru in the alcove beside his chair. So the colour of the Irn Bru was always dulled by the colour of the whiskey – hence why I thought that was the colour. In my defense, I was a child who knew no better. So the absolute shock of seeing Irn Bru normally and so bright for the first time was just that, a shock – to the point I thought there was something wrong with it.
Unlike the rest of my siblings, I was young, and I manged to block out most of the horrible memories of growing up and kept a few nice ones. Like how I only really enjoyed my Dad on a Saturday, he always wore a suit (I later found out because he was going out to be with his girlfriend), shaved and put aftershave on (usually Brut or Old Spice). It was the one day of the week I could actually speak to him. One Saturday morning, my Dad got me up while my Mum was in bed, made me breakfast and took me into town. He took me into a shop called What Everyone Wants (now extinct like so many other high street names) and let me pick a toy I wanted, I bent the rules a little and asked for a couple of videos and he got me them. Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty – not Disney ones, but low quality animated ones that I must admit I loved. Or the time my Dad was in one of his DIY moods and I got to learn some woodworking skills from him as he built shelves and an entire TV unit in our very large alcove and put shelves in the small alcove in the living room (I was in awe of his skills at that point as I was about 7 or 8, though if he was here I probably still would be as with DIY, I have the best intentions….). He also made his own very large tool box with compartments and drawers, it held at least 2 panel saws and many other various tools – I did always think it was cool…I wonder if that is one of the reasons I love little compartments so much lol
I am not telling you I had an alcoholic Dad to look for sympathy, that would just make me uncomfortable, I am simply saying I see the stark contrast between my Dad and the Dad my children have. Although his Dad was not necessarily present either, he is become a way better Dad than either of ours were. Granted he is not perfect, but he is still pretty awesome (when he is not taking a couch nap lol) he makes such an effort to create memories with his kids. From driving them on holidays, to taking them random fun places they will remember (as well as places they will not, like e.g. the dentist, but who wants to remember that?) and making them laugh with his Dad-jokes. Let us be honest, any Dad that tells his kids Dad-jokes is one who cares.
So I say to those Dads that show they care and cannot be there, well done for making the effort. For those who can but choose not to be there, start making the effort. Kids remember who were there for them, and who were not.
Happy Fathers Day to all the Dads out there being Dads.