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Give dads longer contracts for Father’s Day

Don't Take Me Seriously

Posted: June 15, 2012 11:48 a.m.
Updated: June 15, 2012 11:48 a.m.

I've never really considered myself all that much of a "texter." So, imagine my surprise when last month's cellphone bill showed I had exceeded my 1,000 text limit ... and was surcharged accordingly.

Really? More than 1,000 texts in a month?! Who does that?

I mean, in my mind, only a slobbering, tech-crazed adolescent could rack up those texting numbers. And he or she should, accordingly, be chastised within an inch of his or her life for this heinous transgression.

Something is rotten in Denmark, and I demand a recount.

But, assuming I did do the dirty deed more than 1,000 times, it gives me pause for thought.

And I think I'm going to blame it on my kids.

As far as you know, anyway, the majority of those texts were sent to, or received from, my distant daughters, on my own time ... and not used to carry out romantic banter with lovely women during work hours ... I disclaim.

(However, in either case, this column makes those texts tax-deductible. Can you say "research expenditure"?)

Now, thinking of all those texts as a form of punched-in parenting causes my restless mind to wander both philosophically and nostalgically, especially since Father's Day is just around the corner.

So, here we go.

As you know, my fellow fathers, kids can eat up your allotments - on so many levels.

Phonewise, they can certainly take up your texts and pilfer your peak minutes. For example, what could be said by you or to you in a 30-second call will, instead, require a series of 10 back-and-forth textings over the span of an hour - because your offspring are afraid that speaking to you directly would slow down their day.

And while you frugally might call them after 9 p.m. or on a Sunday, you will only be able to leave a message because they have no working concept of time or day of the week. And, of course, the response to your message will come during your Monday midday meeting - if it comes at all.

Now, aside from phone felonies, your kids can also fritter your funds, punish your patience, hammer your heart and, generally, drive you toward dementia as the only attractive option for a peaceful existence.

The Mayberry-esque parent-child relationships that you foolishly envisioned when you let your wife talk you into creating these extraneous life-forms have never even come close to realization. On the contrary, your ill-advised dalliances begot beings that yank years off you like fishing line streaking from a reel when "the big one" dives for the deep.

So, it's no wonder us dads need more liberal allowances in all of our plans.

Yes, some of us, apparently, need unlimited texting. That might be a minimum gift for us for Father's Day. But what all dads truly yearn for in their heart of hearts is to receive more generous terms in their cosmic contracts.

Yes, we definitely need a rebate of some youthful years, but beyond that ... wait for it ... we want more time ... with our kids.

Say what?!

It's true. Even taking into account all I have herein alluded to, all the things that might otherwise tip the fatherhood scales hard to the down side, there is some genetic defect in each of us dads that ignores all that and just wants more.

We want more of those moments of sweet baby smell, more afternoons being used as human monkey bars, more stories to read to them at night, more days when we teach them to ride a bike or tie a knot. We want to experience again the day they caught their first fish or first fly ball.

We want to soar with them again on the day they scored the winning goal - or comfort them on the day they missed that same shot in the championship.

We want to snuggle again with them on the couch while sharing popcorn and a silly movie. We want to see them graduate again and again and we want to gently paste together their broken hearts like Zuzu's petals.

We need to hear them blabber, complain, rave or even tell us how out of touch we are - anything, just to hear them talk to us again.

We want to run with them, tickle them and toss them in the pool. And we want to dose them again with pink antibiotic syrup because it makes us feel we have the power to protect them from the world.

We want them back safe in the house with us at the end of the night.

We want "more."

Now I suppose, someday far too soon, I will get to relive many of these things with grandchildren. But until then, at least, I miss those days.

Happy Father's Day, fellas. Enjoy those kids while you can.

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