We’re dusting off our bikinis and wishing we had spent just a few more minutes in the gym over the past six months. The start of monsoon season brings impressive rainstorms, along with visible proof that anyone living in a sunshine state should never consider relocating to a place where clouds might actually form even if that’s where you came from in the first place. Halfway through the year, temporary Halloween stores will start popping up any day now followed shortly by Christmas trees and ornament displays. Summer vacation’s “glow” is starting to wear and parents and offspring are not-so-secretly counting the days until school is back in session. And after sitting patiently through Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Grandparents Day and Administrative Assistant’s Day, it’s finally time for men to collect their due.
I hereby stake my claim to Father’s Day.
I realize that is a little presumptuous of me considering that my best attributes include breasts, not biceps. And, yes, I recognize that both can co-exist beautifully in the same body. My point is this – if my husband was here we would celebrate his fatherhood. But he is not here. I am.
I’m lacing up hockey skates, learning about protective cups and why they need to be placed just so. I am fitting football helmets and taping sticks. I am changing bike tires and buying car tires. I am studying up on when boys need deodorant and vanquishing scorpions. I am guiding my son through his first crush, taking our beloved and long-suffering dog for one last visit to the vet, and injecting a little estrogen into school’s Donuts with Dad day. I am replacing projection bulbs in the gigantic TV that he wanted in order to watch the games that I am now sitting through with our son, and testing outlets that have suddenly stopped offering electrical current.
It’s not that women can’t and don’t do all of these things. It’s that I am doing everything that he would be doing if he was still here. I am mom and dad.
So, while the rest of you men will be celebrating fatherhood with bad ties, expensive luncheons, handmade cards and free time to take out the garbage before Monday’s trash pickup, I’ll be celebrating the way any woman who does it all should.
Admiring the gunmetal gray of my freshly painted toes.