The Issue: “The Perfect Father?”
What constitutes being a father? The answers to that question are probably as varied as there are fathers. Most of us probably know or knew our fathers, but for those who don’t have their father in their lives, often they have father figures, be it a step-father, a grandfather or someone special who is like a father.
Certainly, the role of fathers have changed from what it was even just a bit more more than a half a century ago. The modern father, seemingly, for the most part, has taken more of a caregiver role within the family; which in part can be contributed to the many mothers who work outside of the home. But regardless of how and why the father role has changed in our modern world, fathers are important people in most of our lives.
Like everyone that I know at least, none has met a perfect father. Well that is, unless you were Jim Anderson on the television show “Father Knows Best,” which aired from approximately 1954 to 1960.
For those of you who do not know who these people were, do try to get hold of a clip of at least one of their shows. The actor Robert Young was Jim Anderson, with the actress Jane Wyatt portraying Mrs. Anderson.
I can remember watching many shows of that series, wondering why my father was not at all like Mr. Anderson, and maybe I even wished a tad that my father could be like him. But, as I grew up, came to understand that the imperfections of fathers are usually because they are human.
I also came to understand that my hard working Italian father, like his father, who came from Northern Italy, believed that being a good father meant you worked hard to provide as well as you could for your family. Thus, there was not a whole lot of time for other things besides providing for your family.
So it was that my father never did become a Robert Young/Mr. Anderson like the television father on “Father Knows Best.” But many times over, my father did know best just the same.
This Father’s Day, like every Father’s Day since my father passed on, I will celebrate his memory in my heart by taking some time on Father’s Day to remember and cherish the years in his elder life when work had ceased, roles had changed (I now looked after him in my home) and my father and I had every day to spend together.
On Father’s Day, do try to remember your father. If he doesn’t live where you are, be sure to give him a call…even if it is the first call to him in years.
Do let the person that is the father in your life know that he is loved, just because he is who he is. Sometimes the best gift we can give a father on Father’s Day is to tell our fathers how much they really are appreciated and that they are special.