Author: Anne Hamilton

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Saturday, June 20th, 2015 at 12:00 pm
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Father’s Day

‘A father is someone who keeps pictures in his wallet, where the money used to be…’

Especially for Father’s Day, several of our contributors, readers and supporters have come together to share their thoughts and tributes.  In the first of a two part feature, Marie Campbell and Stuart White take a wry look at the day itself, and (almost) being a dad.

Father’s Day is a pretty new thing, only celebrated in the United Kingdom since the 1970s. It originated in the USA, when a woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was inspired by Mother’s Day celebrations to plan a day to also honour fathers. This was over 100 years ago, but it was many years later before it became a regular practice, and further years still before the UK, suitably inspired, joined in.

There are many facts to be found about this day in June, not least that the most popular gift we give our dads is a tie. And it is apparently the fifth most popular ‘card-giving’ event every year. Children across the country will no doubt be working on their own home-made creations this week, showing their love in glue and crayon.

Becoming a dad is the making of many a man. Nights at the pub are foregone – in their place are nights pacing the floor, rocking babies to sleep, or, later, providing a one-man taxi service. A daily newspaper is a long-forgotten luxury; instead, the reading material of choice is about hungry caterpillars, hungry tigers and other creatures, usually either looking for food or avoiding being eaten. Dads become experts in giving piggy-backs and their arms are never too tired to refuse a request to ‘carry me’. They can add sand-castle building and ice-cream buying to their CVs. And maybe one day, they will get to see a film again that doesn’t come with a ‘U’ or ‘PG’ rating.

Some people believe that the idea of Father’s Day originates in pagan sun worship; that the sun is the father of the universe. What a lovely idea. And it makes sense, doesn’t it, that’s something that shines so bright should be linked to all of the dads, step-dads, grandads and just-like-a-dads we know?

Happy Father’s Day. Because, even though every day should be Father’s Day really, sometimes we need a special date to remind us.

Marie Campbell

 

‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ An overused quote, perhaps, but it  rings true across all facets of life. And what is great power? Forbes magazine says The Presidents of the US and Russia, Bill Gates, or the Pope. These people all hold influential positions, but power comes in many forms. Surely one of the most powerful actions a person is capable of is to reproduce and create life.

In January of this year, I looked down at a pregnancy stick and saw two thin stripes. Yikes, I thought. ‘Amazing,’ I said. My stomach performed acrobatics that Charles Blondin would be proud of and I felt a little like I was walking a tightrope, too.

Almost immediately, the responsibility started to hit me. I was going to become a dad. Wowser. When I was a teenager, I wanted a big family. Five children, to be specific. Three boys, two girls. When I tell people this, they say, ‘Awww’.

When I tell them the reason why, they squint at me, scratch their head and say, ‘Eh?’ I wanted the family to facilitate a childhood desire for a seven-seat car. When my brother pointed out that I didn’t need the five kids to buy the car and that I would be less likely to afford a car of that size with five children, my bubble burst, or at least shrivelled.

The years have passed, but I am much older, wiser and realistic (I hope), and the imminent arrival of the baby in August, coupled with a new role as a father, both excite and terrify me in equal measure, and that little bubble has begun to swell once more. But, even if the great responsibility ever begins to overwhelm, and I am sure it will, I can always console myself with the fact that I am one down, with four to go.

Stuart White

 

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One Response to “Father’s Day”

  1. Marianne Wheelaghan Says:

    Brilliant! I am a curmudgeon when it comes to things like Fathers’ days and Mothers’ days …. i’m of the opinion they are manufactured occasions in order to sell us stuff we/our fathers’/ mothers’ don’t need. However, I thoroughly enjoyed reading both of these snippets. Marie, I love your description of fathers never being too tired to give piggy-backs/refuse a request and laughed at dads the world over looking forward to watching a film over a U rating – know it well, and are you listening, Stuart? 😉 And, Stuart, oh my goodness, congratulations and all good wishes to you and the mother to be. What an exiting time. Yep, great responsibility ahead and lots of sleepless nights but every one of them worth it 🙂

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