Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Father's Day 2009

I had a really good Father's Day, sharing it with most of my family. Of my 7 children, only Jenna (living in Ireland) and Colm (happier at home) were absent, but both had sent Father's Day cards and phoned me. And of my grandchildren, only Elisha (living in Ireland) was missing.

Carla and her husband Jason hosted dinner for the 12 of us. Jason did the roast. Excellent job, Jason! Carla did the side dishes.

Jason surprised me by presenting me with 3 perfectly chilled bottles of my favourite beer - Newcastle Brown Ale - while saying, "My father hasn't been much good to me and you've been like a proper father to me." Jason's father deserted him when he was just a few years old and although they were reunited a few years ago, he doesn't bother with him much. I was both pleased and humbled by this gesture.

Here I am with 5 out of my 7 children.

I had a very enjoyable afternoon and evening.

Father's Day caused me to remember how fortunate I had been with my father, sadly no longer with me. I was also able to reflect on the passing of time and, of course, the unceasing countdown to my own demise. My oldest grandchild, Shannon - at the back of the group in the picture - is 14 now and dating. A great-grandchild within the next 10 years seems a real possibility. Am I that old? Then, having little children and grown-up children simultaneously suddenly seemed somewhat bizarre - unnatural perhaps? In any case, I can't change that - nor would I wish to!

Here the group includes Marie and 3 of my 4 grandchildren. This time next year, all being well, I'll have 2 more grandchildren!

My day actually started in Weymouth, at my Father-in-law's house, so Marie was able to share a little of Father's Day with him. He pretends to prefer his children to ignore Father's Day...but I saw him take his Father's Day cards to his desk for safekeeping!

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Joseph's school, Orla's nursery and the local parish church all ignore Father's Day. They observe Mother's Day, of course. This is the secular version of the Christian festival of Mothering Sunday and has been observed for centuries, while Father's Day only started to be observed about 100 years ago. Nevertheless, one would think that some formal acknowledgement of the role that fathers have in the lives of their children would be on the calendar of all religions and educational establishments. I wonder if many others agree with me...


Casdok said...

Yes i agree with you. Even though C's father does not want to know him. For the fathers who are activly invovled with their children i think its very important to acknowledge them.
Glad you had a good day - you do have a very beautiful family :)

Robert said...

I'm sorry and disappointed to learn that C's father does not want to be involved with his child. Perhaps if fatherhood was more valued, fathers would not feel that ignoring their children was desirable. If society was to uphold good fatherhood as the ideal model of masculinity, perhaps fathers might start to think that neglecting their children was socially unacceptable.

rosiero said...

Glad you had a lovely day. Those photos are awesome. Sadly Kay did not feel like celebrating with her father this year. She could hardly call him the "best Dad in the world", could she?

maz said...

Brilliant pics Robert - looks like you had a real fun time!

maz x

Robert said...

rosiero - I believe that I remember you saying that Greg was once a great husband & father. Hopefully Kay remembers that and is treating his current condition as an illness - from which he will hopefully recover. Nevertheless, I'm sure that she wishes she could have a supportive father right now as she progresses into a new phase in her education. She has my best wishes.

Robert said...

maz - Thanks, it was a great day. The pics were taken by my son-in-law - not a natural talent in that department!

Nechtan said...

Hi Robert,

What a brilliant day spent with your family. That's what father's day should be all about. And a very nice gesture by Jason- it must make him feel like one of your own. You look rightly proud in the photos- which are great. These occassions are also ideal for all the little cousins.

I am glad you had a good day it is well deserved.

All the best