As we approach the upcoming Father’s Day weekend, I want to take a moment to reflect on the various aspects of fatherhood that often leave a lasting impression on me. It’s a chance to reminisce about those moments that make you think, “Perhaps my father isn’t all that terrible” or, on the flip side, “Well, he’s not exactly perfect.” Of course, these memories vary based on our unique relationships with our dads. Speaking from personal experience, while my own father may not have the qualities of the world’s greatest dad (let’s not forget that lying is a sin), he’s undeniably reliable and dependable. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone unless, perhaps, it was for Tom Brady himself.
Giving You Your First Beer: Having your first beer with your old man is a significant moment that can truly alter the course of your life. Whether it’s your very first beer overall or simply the first one shared with your dad, it holds the power to be a transformative experience. It’s easy to overlook the fact that before we ever became heavy drinkers, there was a time when we had our initial taste of alcohol. I attribute a part of who I am today (an alcoholic) to my father, and while I may hold him responsible, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
Coaching Up Your Sports: When my father, a Polish immigrant, arrived in this country, he was completely unaware of American football. Upon his arrival, he grew a deep passion for the sport, which he eventually passed on to me. During my high school football days, I was an All-Metro Defensive Back (no big deal), but my dad would frequently approach me after games and casually ask, “Did you even play? I didn’t see you out there.” These comments humbled me, prompting me to reflect on the experiences of other children who endured verbal berating when they struck out in Tee Ball.
Calling Him “Old Man”: Let me paint you a picture; It’s a leisurely Saturday afternoon, and you’re shooting the shit your father, sharing jokes and lighthearted remarks. You playfully refer to him as “Old Man,” poking fun at his athleticism compared to yours. Unexpectedly, he responds with a simple statement like, “Well, son, your old man is getting old.” These seven words destroy your heart like an atomic bomb, instantly sending a sense of realization that he won’t be there with you throughout your entire life.
Not Remembering Your Friend’s Names: Fathers seem to possess this diabolical brain glitch where they conveniently forget every single friend you’ve ever had throughout your entire life. I can already envision the day when I eventually get married, only for my father to ask, “Who is your best man? The face seems vaguely familiar.” At that moment, I’ll kindly remind him that the gentleman in question happens to be my friend since our earliest days in kindergarten.
Asking Your Dad After Mom Said No: We’ve all experienced it before. The moment when you ask your mom if you can go to a friend’s house, and she promptly responds with an angry “no.” You quickly seek refuge from your dad, hoping for a different outcome. Unbeknownst to him about the prior interaction, he unknowingly responds with a confident “yes,” unaware of the impending yelling he will receive from his wife in a matter of minutes.