Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)
- TITLE: Father Of The Year
By dub W
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For all intensive purposes, I was a horrible father. I traveled. Often I was gone for thirty days at a time. Sometimes my family did not know where I had traveled to, nor (in my wife’s words) did they want to know. Oh, I occasionally flew my family to wherever I might be, but for the most part, when our sons were asked what their father did for a living, they just replied, “he travels.” During the 1990's one rather pushy person insisted that my sixth grade son put a “father" occupation,” down on a form. My son asked me what to write. I told him to put down “registered pond scum.” He did. So, today, somewhere in the records of an organization in North Atlanta, they now have an occupational listing for “registered pond scum.”
Last year’s pictures of the “father of the year,” showed a muscular man on a jet ski. I took my oldest son to Promise Keepers – hmmm, guess we missed some of the recreational opportunities. Year before last featured a man with three generations of college graduates. Well, I sat with all my kids in confirmation class and was with them at their Baptisms. Only one has graduated from college, so far. Two others attend sporadically as their jobs allow. My multigenerational pictures today are of me babysitting my grandchildren. Not a mortarboard in sight.
One of last year’s nominees sent in pictures of his daughter holding up the head of a six point buck. I never had a daughter, but I doubt if I did, that I would have taken her hunting. In 1969, I packed all of my hunting weapons in heavy oil, locked them in the gun cabinet, and lost the key on purpose. I have nothing against hunters; it’s just not my thing. My sons don’t hunt either, although they all have fired rifles in target ranges. So much for being a macho father, guess I didn’t cut it.
Another nominee for the “father of the year” was pictured in a father/son business. He was handing the keys over to his adult son. I could never do that. I spent all my money helping with down payments on my son’s homes, and an occasional “dad” loan or two. Two sons and I bought a restaurant once, a wonderful boutique pizza place. Unfortunately, a major discount pizza restaurant opened nearby and we quickly lost everything and were forced to close. I lost 150 grand in the deal.
A few years ago a man, who I greatly admired, was given the award. I went to the banquet. There were many speeches in his honor. I actually felt honored because I knew him as a friend, he was a great father. There will be no banquets for me. The closest things we have are family dinners with our sons gathered round. Of course now we have added eight grandchildren to the audience plus assorted mothers. When we go to church together we occupy a whole section. Now, with everyone scattered, with just those local relatives, we take up a whole pew. Church dinners with the family are a blast – I guess I did get an award one Wednesday evening – everyone sang happy birthday to me.
Like I said, I’m not much of a father. I’ll never be “father of the year;” however, my three sons never got into drugs, never spent time in detention, and never hung with the crowd who caused a lot of trouble – just good kids who love the Lord. One son now works for his father-n-law in a steel construction company, another son is a mediator with a social services agency, and the other son is a manager in a major corporation. I guess, sometimes even we guys who are pond scum and failures as fathers get by with a little help.
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