(Originally submitted to Good Men Project, awaiting approval.)
When I was a young man my father was (and still is) a Correctional Officer that worked by night and slept by day. Before that he was a cop that worked (mostly) by night and slept by day. Before that he was a commercial fisherman, away for several days at a time.
Point being my dad wasn't around a whole lot in my daily everyday life, at least not physically. Sometimes it felt like the only time I had contact with him was when he was admonishing me for something I had done.
Maybe all that time apart resulted in the relationship that we have now.
Simply put we barely talk to each other, we could make an argument out of almost anything, and I'll admit the thought of getting away from him was a big factor in my moving a few months ago.
I think by some odd combination of the separation from earlier in my life and my own weird mental/emotional make up I actually get along better with him when I'm actually not around him.
Good News: We haven't had an argument in months.
Bad News: Well its hard to have an argument with someone when you might talk to them 3-4 times a month.
I've learned a lot from him ranging from some of my cooking skills, how to manage money, and how to tough things out when they get rough. But for some reason its just better if we are not together constantly.
And while I love the man to death and would like to be all sentimental and say that if I could change our relationship, I wouldn't. It's what works for us. We talk occasionally and get together occasionally. And that's fine.
I guess the point is we all have to form the type of relationships with our parents that work for us. Thankfully I was able to form one that works fine.
Once a week, once a month, a few times a year. However you manage your relationship with your dad just make sure you actually have one if you can.
What a day indeed. A small chunk of time set aside to appreciate the man that raised us. I know that a lot of you out there don't have such a person to thank on this day and I am truly sorry for that. Also I am sorry for many fathers and children that will not get to see each other.