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Tag archive for: father’s day

What Makes Dads So … Non-Mom?

A group of young dudes in Spokane, Washington, recently put an ad on Craigslist for a “BBQ Dad” who’d be willing to man the grill at their Father’s Day backyard burger roast. They told the local news station their own dads don’t live nearby and they aren’t up to the challenge of filling their shoes. Duties would include flipping patties while drinking beer, talking about lawnmowers, and referring to the hosts as Big Guy, Chief, Sport, and Champ. They got a few takers.

I’m learning there’s nothing quite like the bond between a boy and his dad. Moms get a lot of reverence lobbed our way, mostly because of the way people just spring to life right there between our hips. The truth is that when my kids need comfort — or, alternately, a taloned and shrieky advocate on their behalf — there’s really no substitute for mom. Also, I keep them alive by cramming the occasional wad of produce down their protesting pieholes.

However, when my sons get talking about their dad, their words reveal less a reverence than a rapport. Less a biological tenderness than an utterly rational fondness. Continue reading What Makes Dads So … Non-Mom?

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Lost: One Father

I always knew I’d speak at my father’s funeral.

It’s a morbid thought, I know. But I was sure I’d deliver his eulogy. See, he’s a fascinating man — passionate and charismatic, the kind of guy who seems to have lived several lives in the space of one. A dozen careers. Hundreds of adventures. Thousands of friends.

And my father taught me how to write. By turning me on to cunning authors and forcing me to rewrite shoddy school essays, he helped shape my voice. We share a love of style, an ear for rhythm.

So I assumed that when the time came, I’d need to squelch my own sadness, stifle my tears, and sum up the substantial capacity of this man’s character. The notion scared me half to death myself. I spent years wondering what I’d say to honor such a life and whether I could do it justice.

But I don’t wonder that anymore. Now I just wonder if anyone will tell me when he dies.

Technically, he’s not my dad; he’s my stepdad. But he was a real father to me for 30 years. He coached me in table manners and protected me from bullies. He donned a grass skirt to man the grill for my Sweet 16 backyard luau. He wrote a poem for me and read it aloud at my wedding.

That day — the day I got married — he was already one year into a secret love affair with a woman who was not my mother. The liaison lasted 12 years before Mom discovered it.

Continue reading Lost: One Father

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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