I think it’s fair to say that Father’s Day is the ultimate participation award. There are certainly exceptions, but I suspect most fathers would agree that the 3rd Sunday of June each year is really just our trophy for showing up to play. Ask my kids who’s in charge at our house and they’ll laugh at such a silly question. Ask who’s next in command behind mom, and I’m sure my daughter gets the nod…she’s only 3. It’s the smart choice, as it’s painfully obvious she’ll always pull rank on me as long as she’s armed with those eyes and her mother’s smile. At least I know I’m a solid third in the pecking order as long as I continue to dominate driveway basketball games versus my sons. Even though they’ve realized dad is just another kid mom needs to keep tabs on, both of them have no choice but to respect me as the king of the court for now. That’s how it works on the blacktop boys. Winner stays, loser walks!
Sure, knowing pick-up basketball protocol isn’t going to do much for my boys in the long run just like teaching them how to burp the ABC’s won’t be of much help past the fourth grade. Same goes for convincing my daughter that girls shouldn't kiss boys until they’re married. It’s my crowning achievement as a parent up to this point, although I fully expect it to backfire on me much sooner than I’d like to think! But isn’t this the kind of thing that endears us most to our fathers? The sharing of life lessons, advice, and street smarts that dad collects throughout his life that any number of teachers couldn't pass along? Things like learning how to ride a bike, how to throw a baseball, or the right way to shake someone’s hand to tougher lessons about hard work, integrity, and honesty. There's a lot of truth behind an old saying that one father is worth more than a hundred schoolmasters. A lot of jokes too, but hopefully mixed in among all of dad's "less useful" lessons are the more meaningful ones that will stick with us forever.