There shall be no eye rolling on Father’s Day

Child rolling her eyesI am a father with three teens. As a result, if a priest were to visit my home and witness the amount of eye rolling that occurs, he would schedule an exorcism faster than you can say “The Conjuring.”

I realize this is a teen thing, and that it’s not easy going through physical and emotional changes generally reserved for a full moon. I understand how the Molotov cocktail of hormones created during this time makes everything annoying, particularly when I say something insensitive such as, “Hi.”

However, come Father’s Day, I will remind my them about the recently discovered 11th Commandment, in which God said unto the teenagers of the world: “Thou shalt not eye roll thine parents. Tis truly annoying.”

They will immediately Google it and discover I’m making up this Commandment, at which point the whites of their eyes will begin that slow, exaggerated roll they know drives me nuts… and then they’ll remember:

Oh no, It’s Father’s Day. 

“Ahhh-HA!” I’ll say. “Today, the only whites I want to see will be on the eggs you’re cooking me for breakfast!”



Ok, not really.

All eye rolling aside, my teenagers are good kids who, on Father’s Day, honestly do their best to make it special. While it’s a day we show appreciation for fathers, I can tell you it’s as much a day that we fathers quietly appreciate the gift of our children. Sure, there are moments when it feels like a white elephant gift, but we wouldn’t exchange it for anything. Especially since most white elephant gifts are limited to $5 anyway.

When I look back over the years and how sharing the ups and downs, good and bad, joys and frustrations of our children have shaped our lives as a family, I’m reminded of how much it has shaped me as a father and a man. And not just in terms of weight gain from bake sales and Girl Scout cookies. I can honestly say my children have taught me as much about myself as I’ve tried to teach them about themselves.

Without them, and each other, I know my life would never have become everything I hoped it would be.

Do I sometimes wish “everything I hoped it would be” didn’t include those annoying eye rolls?


But I’ve also come to understand that it’s a small price to pay for fatherhood.

Together, it’s just the way we roll.






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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

77 thoughts on “There shall be no eye rolling on Father’s Day”

      1. It’s lovely and peaceful in the Abbey, and we can take the dog in. We go often, not just special days, and are convinced the Old Boys are laughing at our latest ‘escapade’ as the candles flicker!

  1. You should do some studying Ned – your teens are slipping looks past you. The lead photo with the eye-roll also contains the “duck face” – a pursing of the lips denoting contempt. Here’s a few hundred contemporary gestures that you can study so you are not caught unawares. You have to keep up Ned. Tsk, Tsk, oh, Happy Father’s Day! 😀

  2. You complain now, but one day you will miss the whites of those eyes. I offer mine to my dad every once in a while, just for old time’s sake. I know he appreciates it.

  3. My daughter, The Mad Madam Mim, could roll her eyes so hard she would stagger. She eventually learned to eye roll from a sitting position because falling over half way through ruined the effect. She’s 27 now and makes certain that I don’t have the opportunity to miss them because she and her boyfriend play ‘Knock a Door Eye Roll’. Trust me…’s far more annoying than the typical eye roll.

  4. The dreaded eyeroll *shudder* My daughter isn’t even a teen yet and I get the eyeroll… followed by a sigh, followed by a mutter, followed by a slammed door, followed by a trashed room, followed by …. You can see where I’m going with this.

    I hope you have a great day, my friend! You deserve the greatest of cooked breakfasts! 🍳

    1. Ouch! Haha! she’s going to be a fun one once the hormones really kick in! You may want to invest in saloon doors on her room like they have in the old westerns. Hard to slam those 😉 I actually took the door off of my son’s room once after he slammed it. None of my kids have ever slammed their doors again…

      And thanks for the kind wishes, Amanda. With your example, there’s no question your daughter is bound for awesomeness 😉

      1. Funny you mention that. We’ve only recently had her door replaced because she pretty much took it off the hinges. (Hmm, yes! Saloon doors might be more effective…thanks for the tip!)

        Dudeeeee! I think her hormones have already kicked in. I can barely look at her these days without her snapping down my neck. Eeeeek! I’m actually hoping her going through this prematurely will result in it ending prematurely too! …just a thought! Please tell me it will end soon… 🙏🏼

        And you’re welcome! Enjoy your day …and your eggs!

        1. I’m with Ned Amanda – our daughter was using her door for lots of things other than its intended use. I too removed it and put it away in the basement and hid the hinge pins. She was much easier to negotiate with after that. She did eventually get it back some weeks after she calmed down. It was very inconvenient for her to have to get dressed in the bathroom and it threw a wrench in her “love” life (she was 13 going on 30)

          1. It’s scary, isn’t it? Why can’t they stay young and innocent? Or at least act their age rather than reenacting those brats they see on the Disney channel (the Disney channel… I despair of it!) I did the same; my daughter was without a door for a good few weeks…and those few quiet weeks of zero door slamming were bliss! 🙂

            Love life … 😳 luckily, my daughter still thinks boys smell!

            1. All you can do as a parent is be as fair and consistent as possible with the rules and example you set. If you do those things and don’t let your emotions get the best of you, everything will eventually level out. Or as Disney would say, “Let it Go… Let it Go…”

            1. Ha! I was reading a science fiction novel some years ago and they had created an artificial intelligence. The problem was that when it had achieved the reasoning level of a 13 year old, it went crazy and lost all its logic before shutting down. I’m sure that the author had a 13 year old girl as a child. Ha!

          2. That’s a good idea, I will keep it in mind. Of course, when I was a teenager myself, I sawed off the door handle on the outside of my room’s door.

  5. As the father of two teenagers myself, I completely agree with your remarks, except the part about weight gain. Not once have I been baked a Girl Scout cookie by either of my sons. Despite that, they’re still pretty good kids.

  6. I think it’s a pretty genius idea to obviously make up the 11th commandment to get your kids to Google the actual ones – meaning that they’re going to find the 5th one, “Honor your father and your mother”, which clearly covers eye rolls. Also, they may notice that this commandment comes before all the ones about not murdering, stealing, and lying, which means honoring parents is more important.

    1. Hahaha! Excellent points on the 10 Commandments, which I should have expected from List of X. And you’re so right: “No Eye Rolling Thine Parents” is certainly more important than not murdering , stealing, blah blah blah…

  7. My three sons are all grown and I honestly can’t recall eyerolls although I got the silent treatment from the oldest, mouthiness from the middle, and the youngest flew under the radar. Wishing you a Happy EyeRolless Father’s Day.

  8. When I was a young’un (around 5 or 6 – I started the eye roll early) my Dad told me that if I rolled my eyes they would get stuck looking back into my head and I would never be able to see properly again. It took a long time for me to realize that wasn’t true, though I find it hard to roll my eyes even now.
    You’re welcome to try this technique, though I think your kids may be too old to fall for it …

    1. Lol! Maybe if my kids had started the eye roll a little earlier, I could’ve prevented it. Now, if I told them that, they would, well… Just roll their eyes.

      But thanks anyway, Sarah! 😉

  9. My teenage dude has told me that on Father’s day I should have my breakfast and lunch at my favourite restaurants…so he could too.

    Thoughtful aren’t they?

  10. Having read your recent Facebook post, I can see that fatherhood has prepared you well for dealing patiently with gun nuts. Or maybe it’s vice versa.

      1. The exchange (“exchange”) got me thinking in a weird way about equating the pro-gun movement with something about dog-tossing. It makes sense in my head, but it’s probably best I didn’t engage.

        1. And speaking of exchange, I’m going to email you in a bit about our own “exchange.” News Media Corporation is considering the idea of covering the plane fare if we want to do it…

            1. As a licenced caber catcher, I feel confident that the caber toting public will have a hard time getting the drop on me. I once set 37 phone poles in place in 4 minutes when as many caber were tossed in that time period. Here I am catching an incoming high caber:

                1. Don’t you look up there! Ha! (I couldn’t lift a phone pole if my life depended on it 😀 )

No one is watching, I swear...

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