If I could make you see,
If there’s been a fool around,
It’s got to be me.
Why are you right when I’m so wrong,
I’m so weak but you’re so strong,
Everything you do is just all right
Yeah right. Can you imagine one of your kids singing that to you?
The Shore Regional High School Class of 1974 yearbook was called the Voyager. Towards the end of the Voyager was a section that maybe all yearbooks contain, I don’t know; but it listed a couple of personal characteristics and predicted your status in ten years. It was the Is/Can Be Found/Status in 1984 section. Well at least in my case it was 1984, but you are probably familiar.
Mine went like this:
Can be Found: Playing his harmonica
Status in 1984: Daddy
I remember at the time, I wasn’t so sure I liked the Reliable with the question mark tag. But now I acknowledge my ADD tendencies and totally understand.
I thought that the Playing the harmonica was cool. I still do a little of that.
I particularly liked the Status in 1984: Daddy. You see I was looking forward to being a father. I thought at the time, I would make a good one.
I recently read the autobiography of Mick Fleetwood, titled Play On.
In fact I read it twice.
I have always been a big Fleetwood Mac fan. Most people are familiar with Fleetwood Mac from the Rumours album, the one that featured the song “Oh Daddy” written by Christine McVie.
I found myself drawn to this book and his story because I found many parallels to my life; the music I remembered; the sixties and seventies and everything good and bad that went along with that; family struggles; raising kids; raising girls.
But there was another thing I thought interesting, he admitted to feeling that he was never particularly good at anything.
That’s interesting because I have always felt that same way about myself. I have always felt that I was never particularly good at anything either!
In just a little over a week I will turn sixty years old. And just as my yearbook had predicted, in 1984 I was a Daddy. I became a father in November of 1982.
You would expect that by my age I would have had the opportunity and the ability to be really good at something. You might expect, for instance, with that many years of parenting experience I would at least be good at that. Good at being a father. But the truth is everyday continues to be a learning experience, some days with struggles; some days with victories, others with regrets; but inevitably there is that nagging doubt and the thought that I could have done better, I should have done better, or I should be doing better.
I once thought the best thing I could teach my kids was how important it was to work hard; working hard no matter what the job.
I had always felt that way and lived that way, I have no guilt there. But I have learned, maybe too late in life, that working hard wasn’t the most important thing after all.
Because now I realize the most important thing in life is learning. And I know now that I should have spent less time at working hard and more time at learning and growing. Maybe if I had done that I would have had something I was good at by now.
And if I had worked less I could have spent more time with my kids growing up and as a result, I would have been more prepared for changes in their lives and changes in mine that I didn’t foresee or expect.
This Father’s Day is special because I get to spend it with all my kids and my Dad gets to meet his newest great grandson for the first time.
This Father’s Day is also special because I also get to spend it with my Dad. There was a time when I wouldn’t have been able to sing those Oh Daddy lyrics to my father either. But I could now. So maybe I have learned one thing, how to be a better son.
Maybe that will make me a better father too.
And maybe my prophetic classmates were more right than I would like to admit. Maybe there are some aspects of my life I can be more reliable at.
And I don’t mean playing the harmonica.
In the mean time I will keep trying and keep learning.
You soothe me with your smile
You’re letting me know,
You’re the best thing in my life
Happy Father’s Day Pop!