With it being Father’s Day on Sunday, I thought I’d best look lively and get myself to the shops to get the cards. As I do every year, I pick the one from my five year old to his Daddy first. This is always something along the lines of a gorilla picture or something about “Daddy bear” what with hubby being a pretty hirsute kind of guy. It will take a long time to write seeing as my son isn’t exactly proficient at shorthand just yet and also is very keen to embellish any greetings cards with pictures, possibly stickers or just ridiculous statements (for instance Nanny’s Mother’s Day card this year almost said “I love you more than Aston Villa” – he hates the Villa.)
Then it’s the turn of finding the perfect card to Daddy from the dog. Yes, you read that right, Lily dog also likes to send her well wishes on the special day to the big man in her life, to say thank you for the biscuits, the walks and apologise for the baths she often needs after rolling in fox poo or stealing and hiding the odd golf ball here and there.
Next up, a card for my Father in law. Being the kind of guy with a screwdriver permanently on hand there is usually some sort of DIY theme going on here, usually taking the mick or perhaps something to do with golf – also not necessarily featuring particularly serious comments.
And finally a card for my Dad. This one isn’t the easiest so is always left until last. I spend the first few minutes giggling to myself at the silly cards, the rude cards, the daft jokes. Then the soppy ones – the “best Dad in the world” cards.
And I find myself standing at the card stand, surrounded by people pushing and shoving to find their own perfect greeting for the Dad in their lives and I get hotter and hotter, tears prickling at my eyes and the constant repetitive thought in my head of “Do. Not. Cry.”
You see this year will be the tenth Father’s Day since my Dad passed away. I know, you think it would get easier but I’m not entirely sure it does. The first few are pretty hideous, then I think it got easier for a little while, then I had the pretty wonderful distraction of picking the “You’re going to be a Dad” card for my husband followed by the yearly and totally adorable cards from the little guy whose Dad is his total hero. Although I don’t buy a physical card for my Dad anymore, I do go through the same ritual each year of finding a card I know he would have liked, having a giggle at the daft Millican-esque cards or trying not to let my eyes leak at the ones shouting from the rooftops just how much his little girl loves him.
The daft thing is my Dad was never one for making a big fuss of things and think, in fact I know he found occasions such as Father’s Day, certainly Valentines Day, Halloween and National whatever-the-hell-it-is-today-Day a complete and utter waste of time. He would sit there every year and chuckle and tell me not to bother but bother I did. I would sit and draw him cards when I was younger, one particular artistic breakthrough was the year I drew (quite accurately in my book at least) a bloody great picture of him in one of his fabulous eighties golf jumpers. Then it moved on over the years to cards that made us both laugh and celebrated our shared and frankly ridiculous sense of humour. The ones that used to make Mum pull endless faces of confusion at exactly why they were funny in the first place. One such gem was a card with a cartoon of two crocodiles in a muddy stream with the caption of one saying to the other “I could have sworn it was Thursday”. Yep, probably not funny in the slightest to anyone, in fact I wonder how it ever got printed as I have never met another individual on this planet who even cracked a smile at this but the fact was ever since I was really little, Dad would tell me this joke and we would laugh until our sides hurt, tears rolled down our faces and Mum would still be sitting there looking at us and contemplating calling some sort of helpline. The day I found that card in the newsagents, I felt like I’d struck gold, this of course was long before being able to google anything, order any type of card you wanted or create a meme instantly and send it to someone in seconds.
I told him that joke the day he passed – it wasn’t the reason he passed I should add. (He’d have liked that joke..) By then he was in a coma and I had a little chat with him, finishing it off with that joke. I’d like to think he heard it and managed a little smile at least. What I wouldn’t give to sit and belly laugh with him again. Happy Father’s Day Daddy. xx