Father's Day is weird without Dad. I have no one to call. Now, I'm the one who gets called. Weird.
I often wonder what the day is like for people who have or had really horrible fathers. After all, there are lots of men out there who don't fit neatly onto a Hallmark card. In this regard I am fortunate. For all of my life I have been surrounded by men for whom fatherhood was their crowning achievement. My Dad. My uncles. The men who married my two sisters. My father-in-law. And now I see Facebook pictures of young men from my Sunday School classes from years ago holding infants in their arms, delighted and amazed. Then there are the men I've known who never had kids of their own, but instead became surrogate fathers to hundreds of other people's kids, those sainted teachers, coaches and encouragers without whom parents would be lost. I think of them on this day too.
Yesterday, my wife had her family over for a Father's Day picnic in the back yard. Despite the calendar, it was a perfect day to be outside...blue skies and no humidity. Because it was Pam, there was a theme...western bandanas with Slim Jim party favors! I grilled up beef and chicken kabobs on the grill with some teriyaki chicken thrown in for good measure.
After everyone left, I get an email from my daughter. She sent me a Barnes & Noble gift certificate so I could buy some books for my month in Maine. Then my son called to inform me that I must drive over to Havana Connection before 7:00 o'clock to pick up a package that was waiting for me.
After all of this, Pam and I were both exhausted. We had made plans earlier in the day for the Forts to come over to teach us some games to play while we are in Maine...something called Farkle, and the indelicately named dominoes game called Mexican Train. We hadn't seen them in a while and they would be spending a couple of weeks in Africa soon, and we wanted to see them before they left. We were so tired, we almost cancelled, but...it was the Forts, the easiest people in the world to hang with. So glad we didn't wimp out. Had a great time!
Now begins the sprint to the finish. Our preparations for Maine are officially on the home stretch. The finish line looms. Lucy knows that something is in the air, an ill wind is blowing. She looks at us suspiciously as if to say...What is this Maine of which you speak? Will there be trash cans and ceiling fans? If so, I must protest!
I'll keep you posted...