I have always been slightly bothered by the attention that’s given to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. I guess it’s the knowledge that a major motivation behind both days has been the need and desire to sell greeting cards, either printed or electronic.
I must get over that, because parenting is the most important job any of us will ever undertake. My mother died 20 years ago, and my father passed away five years before that. I miss them more, not less as the years go by. I can proudly say that my Dad, Andrew Currie, was the best man I ever met.
Richard Llewellyn put it best in the opening chapter of his 1939 novel How Green Was My Valley. A man approaching his senior years looks back on his childhood and has this memory of his long departed dad. “Everything I ever learned as a small boy came from my father. I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless”. A couple of years after the book first appeared, John Ford turned it into one of the greatest films of Hollywood’s golden age.
Sadly, I know that many of us do not have such wonderful memories of our parents. All of us go through periods when our own problems seem to be all consuming. Most often there are the teen years when our parents don’t know anything. This too shall pass, and it’s worth waiting for what follows.
What has followed for me is the realization that the things I’m most proud of in my daily life, especially the way I deal with my own child and grandchild, reflects the very best of what I learned from my mother and father.
Rebuilding a broken bridge between parents and children is often very difficult. We have huge doubts that it’s even possible. Make sure Father’s Day is more than just a greeting card, and remember that it should not be limited only to the third Sunday in June.
I’m Roger Currie