The Humble Father

To save anyone else from the embarrassment of being the target of my keyboard, I write about myself this father’s day.  As an attorney, people come to me for advice and counsel.  My understanding of the law is held in reasonably high regard in some quarters.  Some people actually pay me for my thoughts (I know, but it’s true). 

So one might suspect that I am the object of respect and admiration, right?  Not in my house.

There is a firm, yet pervasive belief amongst my very own family, that I am incapable of doing anything, and I mean anything, without the oversight and direction of a family member.  It doesn’t matter how simple or pedestrian the task.  It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done it (successfully) before.  If they don’t tell me how to do it, they fully expect my actions to result in disaster.  To avoid disaster, they watch me like a hawk to make sure I don’t screw everything up.

Someone harboring a sexist bias might think that this is a product of my darling wife’s need for control.  After all, Dr. Simple Justice has long been known around here as She Who Must Be Obeyed, or SWMBO for short.  But that would not be accurate, and she informs me that she is not a control freak, but rather just an ordinary gal who is charged with keeping me from blowing everything I do.  Since she has given herself two votes in the household legislature, I am unable to challenge her position in a fair and democratic vote.

But it’s not SWMBO who gets me, no matter how many times she leaves her car keys in the refrigerator then can’t find them.  After all, I’m not her father.  It’s my children, whose births were apparently destined to serve as reminder that no life comes without a price. 

My eldest child, a daughter of great beauty and talent, has the Jedi ability of mind control.  She need not speak to me, and in fact has rarely done so for the past few years.  She need only cock her eye and emit a sound similar to “tsk” to make clear that she disapproves.  It’s crushing in its simplicity and force.

My youngest, a son who exceeds my best qualities at every turn, never passes up an opportunity to point out my deficits.  Lately, he’s become a motor mouth.   I attribute this to my failure to beat him as an infant, but he was just so darned cute.  Nonetheless, he informs me on an hourly basis that I am not cool, just in case senility set in and I’ve forgotten his last admonition.

Some readers here write kind words about me, telling me that they find my writings interesting or thoughtful.  To anyone who thinks that these kinds words might serve to inflate my ego, make me thing that I’m a bigshot, take comfort.  No matter how many nice comments I receive for my writings, I have a wonderful family at home whose primary purpose is to keep me humble.  And they are particularly good at their job.  Really, really good,  

It would have been nice if somebody made me breakfast in bed, but I’m here writing and the rest of them are all fast asleep.  It’s the only time of day I can do stuff without supervision.

Happy father’s day. 

4 comments on “The Humble Father

  1. Deborah

    You posts do make me smile and sometimes laugh. This was makes me LOL.
    No. I’m not taking pleasure in your suffering; yours is just a typical all American Family. Take comfort, your kids are just as ‘effective’ with your wife. She’s the Queen of the house and you are the King. Sounds like you’re more of a contemporary man and not into
    the hierarchy of Family dynamics. I applaud you. Take comfort knowing the kids will be off to college and their own lives soon enough. Meantime, enjoy them. Take an interest in one thing important in each child’s life and ‘force’ yourself to get into it. LOL Most of all, treat them not as little kids anymore but the young adults they are growing into. Yea, they flip/flop back to kiddyland and back again and their perceptions of life are really ‘out there’ but that’s due to their ‘rose garden’ life that YOU provide and protect them from the Big Bad Wolf of the real world. Your a good Dad and husband. Hang in there, your rewards are coming. Someday you will be afforded the pleasures of spoiling your grandkids and sitting back to watch your kids stuggle with parenthood just as you are doing now.

  2. Securing Innovation

    Blawg Review #217 on Father’s Day 2009

    "For many of us, our father is a hero, an inspiration, a teacher, a role model, a mentor, a friend. Long after our father may pass away, or even after we leave the roost and start our own family, our…

  3. A

    Hilarious!
    You sound just like my Dad (especially the blowing up things part).
    He’s not here any more, and I miss him.
    You just made my day!

  4. Hull

    Sure they’re really your kids? How can you be sure? And they sound talented, well-rounded, with good hearts, and sane. Well, at least you know where all your offspring are. Names, too. Beats the men in my family.

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