The only difference between fatherhood and motherhood is that one is exclusive to men and the other to women, right? Yes, of course, one does a set of tasks, the other does another set of tasks, but however they are set, they do not ignore the fact that there are children out there and contributions to their welfare must be made.
Yet, over time, we have constructed such differences between the two, that each has claimed a day for her or himself in the calendar of important celebrations. It's not about parenting. It's about being a mother. And, in June, a father.
Here’s the thing – in my growing up years, I never thought much about Father’s Day. Honestly, I don’t believe it even marked a post-war Poland calendar page. Mother’s Day? Of course! And soon after (June 1st), Children’s Day. Both celebrating the challenge of the entire project of growing up (raising a child, in the case of mothers). Fathers had nothing.
In the States, I adapted. Father’s Day? Okay! It seems only fair. We celebrate both. Cool. That and the 4th of July.
Ed has been skeptical. Not a parent himself (indeed, I would guess that 90% of his friends aren’t parents; it’s as if they found each other early on and said – you too, eh?), he admires those who choose parenting over nonparenting, but he doesn’t get the holiday fuss.
So, what do you do on Mother’s Day (or Father’s Day)?
You go out and eat.
Do you want to go out and eat today?
It’s Father’s Day. We wouldn’t be able to get a table. Everyone else is eating out.
Still, in the early afternoon, we go to a local Tex-Mex place that also happens to have excellent espresso drinks (Pasqual’s). We find a table, read the local paper. He eats his huevos rancheros, I drink my latte.
I glance over at another table. Dad, mom, two kids.
Happy Father’s Day. You, all you dad types, you deserve a heck of a great day.