Father’s Day can be every day because this surfer dad’s wife feels the need to ‘give Papas back their John Wayne meets Father-Knows-Bestness’ and ditch the popular culture mantra that Dads can be loveable but incompetent nitwits. ‘Adventure time’ is prime evidence of this dad’s awesomeness.
By Lisa Suhay, Correspondent / June 14, 2012
The Christian Science Monitor
Being raised in an all-female, post-divorce household, I was part of the man-hater’s club that believed men were incapable of “real” parenting skills. Just look at our culture and see how commercials, movies, and cartoons frequently paint fathers as loveable, but incompetent nitwits.
Now that I am the mother of four sons, ages 8, 13, 17, and 18, who will someday be in this role, I feel the need to give Papas back their John Wayne meets Father Knows Bestness, starting with my own husband.
Of course he has his moments that are worthy of a sitcom. An example might be putting a timid autism spectrum eight-year-old who just learned how to swim out in the ocean, tethered via his little ankle to a “supertanker” Dewy Weber surfboard and launching him onto a wave without a life jacket, alone!
I didn’t learn this story all at once, mind you, but in jubilant pieces from the child when he jetted in the front door and began to disrobe in a sandy trail of tale.
“Pop tied me to the big board and the leash wouldn’t come offa my ankle and I got dragged under and had to not panic,” Quin, 8, crowed. “And then I didn’t drown! Pop is awesome !”
In my entire vocabulary, the word “awesome” was not even a distant competitor for the space following the words “Pop is.” My top pics were: bonkers and doomed.
Yet who could argue with the glow of accomplishment on our youngest son’s face? He was empowered. He was stoked. He was trailing sand all over my floors because my husband doesn’t believe in towels, snacks, chairs, or umbrellas at the beach. My husband packs for a day at the beach by checking to see if he has his surf wax.
“Awesome,” I said to my son. “So you had a good time?” To which he answered the same exact pronouncement he has always made each and every time my spouse has taken the boys on an adventure, “It was the best day ever!”
However, the boys never, ever want to go on a Papa outing. They dimly recall the fear, pain, small injuries, and emotional trauma associated with “adventure time.” My husband is always forced to bluster and insist until they capitulate. He laments this, groaning what all good fathers groan at such times, “I failed them. Where did I go wrong?”
A lot more here: http://www.csmonitor.com