Who’s your daddy?
Sunday is a day to celebrate the one male some either love to hate or love to love, depending on childhood experience.
In 1972, Richard Nixon made Father’s Day a permanent U.S. observance on the third Sunday of every June. Like the difference between Ward Cleaver and Tony Soprano, the roles of fathers have changed over the years. Today, dads, ranging from dedicated to despondent, dutiful to dumb, or diligent to downright dastardly, will celebrate their big day on June 19.
– Overprotective dad: This dad waits for his daughter’s prom date to arrive wielding a semiautomatic weapon just to see the fear of God in his eyes. He can also be seen at the prom as a chaperone or driving his car as if he’s a cab driver with his kids in the backseat, always fearing an accident.
– Single dads: This dad is often a hero, especially when widowed or left to raise his children after his wife ran away to Jamaica with the pool boy. But a real jerk if he left his faithful wife of 25 years for his secretary and later gets full custody. The Population Resource Center reports that, in 2003, about 42 percent of single fathers were divorced or separated, 38 percent had never married and 20 percent were married or widowed.
– Hard-workin’ dad: This dad is torn between his role as his family’s provider and the guy who never has time to play catch in the front yard with the kids. The money keeps his kids in cool clothes and a nice suburban home, but the lack of presence makes Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” a reality rather than just a folk song.
– Coach dad: This dad either expects the absolute most or the absolute least from his child who plays on his team. To avoid favoritism, this dad may make his child sit the bench at most games. Or the kid is the team’s star player who will, hopefully, in Coach Dad’s eyes, follow in his footsteps one day.
– Pushover dads: This dad falls for the “Mom said it was OK” trick kids pull when they are asking for something. This dad is found buying his 8-year-old daughter a pony for her birthday and a sports car for his son on his 16th birthday.
– My kind of dad: This dad is one who works hard for his family, enjoys a vacation to the beach or a long weekend in Vegas, and likes to hide behind the door and surprise his wife and kids just to see their reactions. He likes fast cars, a strong margarita, all pets (especially the stray ones) and the Rolling Stones. Not everyone has a dad like him, except for two lucky kids from Indiana.
There are obviously more types of dads out there all over the world. No matter if they are the good ones or the bad, they still have all day Sunday to think about what fatherhood means to them. And either change or stay exactly the same come Monday.
April E. Clark loves her dad immensely, even though he would never let her special-order a cheeseburger without onions at McDonald’s as a kid because it would take too long. She can be reached at 945-8515, ext. 518, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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