Over the years, Father’s Day has diminished in importance for me. No longer do I feel the crushing absence of a father in my kid’s lives, but every year I wonder if they do. A Spanish class had Carter creating a Father’s Day card. Ugh. Those still happen. He took it in stride and gave it to his favorite science teacher. I can only imagine how that guy must have felt getting that card.
The only acknowledgement of the day has been a shout up from the basement of “Happy Father’s Day, Mom!” I thought that would be the last of it, but then I had a request for a very specific photo of Arron, one of him in his business suit taken from a rooftop with a view in the background of the Empire State Building. I can see its appeal. He looks very regal and important in it. His Mr. Big Pants shot. It wasn’t a persona of his that any of us knew very well, so I’m curious as to why that picture would be chosen as a Tweet-worthy representation of her dad.Â Of course I couldn’t find it and after digging through several boxes in the basement, I gave up.
There has been much teenaged angst in the house of late, some I would love to detail here, but don’t out of respect for my kids’ privacy, but I can’t help wonder if perhaps the behavior is tied to some deep-down longing for a male authority figure. Someone with a stricter hand than mine. A Mr. Big Pants.
Or perhaps it’s just typical teenaged stuff.
You’d think I’d quit circling this dead carcass already, but I seem to keep bumping into it every time I try to psychoanalyze my kids’ behavior. To this day, I still go straight to behaviorÂ being grief-based rather than normal kid/teen behavior.
Perhaps it’s because, as my mom loves to point out, it’s behavior that I’m unaccustomed to because I was such a nerd/dork teenager who obviously missed getting a copy of the “crappy teen behavior” guidebook. My worst crime as a teenager was being half an hour late for my curfew and not calling. From a pay phone. In the subway station.
Teens have it so easy now. They can call from wherever they are.
Of course, there was no Facebook to bully each other on, or cell phones to Twitter our every move and incriminating photo or that shattered the moment you dropped them costing your parents hundreds of dollars, or international texting charges…
It’s a different world, one that makes parenting teens far more challenging than it’s probably ever been. At least I make myself feel better by telling myself that.
And still, I look at my kids and think, what if things had been different? How would they be different with their father in their lives. Weird to think about, but I have to remember that we’d be going through exactly the same insanity. Of that I have no doubt.
I guess the difference is we’d be doing it together. Hmm. There’s a concept.
Here’s to all you dads out there and moms being dads and men who aren’t biological dads who are being dads anyway. In whatever form your dad-ism takes, hats off to you. Being a parent is no easy feat and being a single one is, well like trying to summit a high mountain in a snowstorm with no whiskey.
But the sun rise at the top is what makes it all worthwhile.
Until the next shattered cell phone.
Happy Mr. Big Pants Day!