Approaching another Father’s Day, I look forward to a thoughtfully handmade card and a shirt I probably won’t wear. I am happy to receive both. Each year, my wife and daughter hopefully attempt to elevate the bar of my wardrobe choices. Their efforts have largely been in vain. I’m pretty much built. I don’t change too much anymore and am mostly pretty comfortable with this. I am 45 and don’t want to be 25. My shirt selections reflect this. I am a dad and dress as such.
Dads have a uniform. We can distinguish dads from non-dads in a crowd. Dads are less carefully groomed, may have greasy finger stains on the tails of our shirts, and don’t match much. We have largely stopped caring about these things. We are not total slobs, but could get there pretty easily without the incessant efforts by our girls to raise our games.
The life of a dad is a simple, yet complicated one. We are the bumbling, indifferent, unaware bystanders in our own homes. We are also the one folks turn to when something really needs to get done. We comfort and repair and calm. We are stable…until we’re not and all bets are off when dads get mad. I learned early that making my dad mad was a bad decision, though he did live in a perpetual state of annoyance. This is ok. It’s what dads are made for and may be our greatest defense.
We do the dirty work. We clean up the barf, dog turds, and unclog the toilet. We stand in the rain by the BBQ and require little recognition for any of these things. We live in our own little worlds within the bigger world around us. We see all of it, but pick our moments to participate. We are the bad guys and the heroes in our homes. Our hands are the ticklers and our shoulders were built to soften life’s blows. We are the rocks. And though our block-headed antics sometimes betray the depth of our sentiment, we care more than you know and love more than we sometimes show…Happy Father’s Day to all dads doing what you do…and at least try the shirt on…
[EDITOR'S NOTE:"Feel Good Friday" is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called "A Feel Good Life" (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: "Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!" Also, you can "friend" Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]