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.  Continue reading

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Don’t do as I drink (and other lessons my father unintentionally taught me)

My father at age 48, the same age as I am.

My father at age 48, the same age as I am now.

My father and I were never very close. I resented him and his influence in my life for many years; he was abusive and an alcoholic who died 20 years ago today. It wasn’t until I became a father that I began to see him differently and, over time, forgave him enough to recognize the things he’d taught me through his own bad example. Even if only unintentionally, he is partially the reason I’m who I am today — as person, a man and a father.

It’s also because of him that I understand and appreciate the difference between the three.

What follows is something I wrote a couple of years ago for the now defunct blog “Black Box Warnings.” Given that the 20th anniversary of my father’s death falls on Father’s Day this year, I felt the need to share it again — for him as much as for myself… Continue reading

Want to be a better father? Get a bigger grill

image Sunday morning I will awaken to sizzle of bacon and eggs, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the shuffle of approaching feet as I lay in bed quietly thinking to myself: My God, my wife is leaving me.

Then I’ll remember: Wait — It’s Father’s Day! It’s a day when we fathers are revered for our wisdom, patience and, in a few rare instances, our neckwear. For one whole day I’ll be the perfect father since my wife will be handling everything for me. She does this to help me relax and enjoy my special day. The problem is, it’s hard to relax when, by handling everything herself, my wife makes it clear I could be replaced by a dishwasher and a few extra power cords. Continue reading

Want to be a better father? Get a bigger grill

image Sunday morning I will awaken to the sizzle of bacon and eggs, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, and the shuffle of approaching feet as I lay in bed quietly thinking to myself:

My God, my wife is leaving me.

Then I’ll remember:

Wait — It’s Father’s Day!

It’s the day when we fathers are revered for our wisdom, patience and, in a few rare instances, our neckwear. For one whole day I’ll be the perfect father since my wife will be handling everything for me. She does this to help me relax and enjoy my special day. The problem is, it’s hard to relax when, by handling everything herself, my wife makes it clear I could be replaced by a dishwasher and a few extra power cords. Continue reading