rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “Dads”

Dad’s Day, 2020

June 21 is Father’s Day 2020. I am a father. I have been a father since October 1959. Age is not creeping anymore; it is fast tracking. I have three remarkable children, six wonderful grandchildren and five amazing great-grandchildren and lest I forget a delightful stepdaughter. My fatherly life is full. I am so blessed.
Frank Sinatra sang; “regrets, I’ve had a few”. Have I made mistakes, absolutely! During my lifetime, there have been ups and downs, some periods even went sideways, so, yes, one could say “regrets, I ‘ve had a few.”
Being a father is not necessarily the same as being a “dad”. The first is a biological event; the second is an emotional one. I would never regret being a “father” however, I do regret not always being a “dad”. But then, one cannot go back in time and change the past.
So, to all my family, on this Father’s Day, 2020, I will strive to be more of a “Dad.” Please know that I love all of you and am proud to be your “Dad”, your “Stepdad”,  your “Granddad”, and your “Great Grandad!” To all the Dad’s in our family, I hope this “Dad’s Day” is meaningful to you.

And from an era gone by, this about my “Dad”.

Lewis Stewart was my stepfather, entering my life at the brink of my becoming a teenager. But he was more than a stepfather. He became my “Dad”, not necessarily in name but in every other aspect. He was my “Dad”. He went to his heavenly home on June 7th, 1984. My “Pop” was and still is a loving memory for me. I pay tribute to him in this poem I wrote in 1992.

The March of Age

Silver strands of wispy hair adorn
The head of this old man,
His eyes seem tired and he grows weak,
He does the best he can.

Age has caught the life of him
Whom age could never touch.
At least not him who’s big to me,
Whose hand I reach to clutch.

The years have fast raced on to reach
This one who could not fall.
The yesterdays are now but faint,
This fate must touch us all.

When grown men cry so deep inside
That words can ne’er explain,
There’s reason for the tears we hide,
Redeeming love without refrain.

So, age will search for others now,
Not knowing what it had.
For age does not discriminate,
I know, it caught my Dad.

Pete Robertson
© 1992

A Perfect Dad, II

As I post this, Father’s Day 2018, is upon us. Seven years ago, I wrote this to celebrate Father’s Day. Since that time I have become a Great-Grandfather to five fantastic children. The first four are boys with the last one being a girl.  What I wonderful feeling.  I am truly blessed. But so are the fathers of these wonderful kids.  I post this in honor of all the fathers in my family and everywhere.

While the great-grandsons are well past the “diaper” stage, the great-granddaughter is still in the midst of “change”. Obviously, the skills needed for girls are quite different than for boys. I am certain “Perfect Dads” have figured that out.

The children we father makes us fathers, the love we show them makes us “Dads”.

“A Perfect Dad”

I am a father of two daughters and one son, as well as a grandfather of four girls and two boys, AND a great-grandfather to a lad named Judah, A fine old biblical name. This year, I received my share of Father’s Day cards. As I read the little poem written inside one card, I could not help but feel very inadequate, for I am anything but a “Perfect Dad”.

Way back when my firstborn (she would dispute the “way back” part) made her initial appearance, I was based on an aircraft carrier in Japan and unable to be there for that ultimate experience.

Later, when my second born arrived, I was there, however, not allowed in the delivery room. I probably would have fainted anyway. She arrived with as much fanfare as did the firstborn.

I know for sure that I went through the burping, feeding, rocking phases, more so with the second child than the first. However, their mother attended to the diapering functions. You have to understand the times in which we were living during the early 60’s. Most men did not attend to such details. However, times, they were a’changing.

When children are born, they are like a piece of cloth. They sag in places, they have a lot of wrinkles, not much hair, at least not my children, and it looks like they were dyed red.

Wrinkled and red.  Skin so soft you’d think they were covered with silk. And everything needed support.

When my son was born, he was no exception. But, like I said, times were a’changing. Through a series of discussions (coerced, I’m sure), I was ready to accept my responsibilities of being a father. Except, my hands were not equipped to handle such difficult maneuvers. I was very deficient in providing this needed aid.

Later, when I felt I had acquired at least some of the necessary skills, I was allowed (?) to take on a few basic functions of caring for him. Feeding him at 2 A.M. was my first privilege. Burping him was another. Always have an extra cloth diaper handy for placing over your shoulder. Notice, I said “cloth diaper”. Disposable diapers had been invented some years before my children were born; however, they were not as prevalent as today. They were expensive, as well.  Thus, we used cloth diapers.

As my skills became more proficient, other responsibilities were given (?) to me. One task, though, was overwhelming. Considering the times when my poor child had to go around with a diaper halfway to his knees, it was obvious.

I laughed, not at the amusing sight, but rather at the very thought of my inexperience of placing the diaper on him in the first place. Of course, there were no instruction booklets attached to the “cloth” diaper. I often wondered how his mother did that. I think she wrote a book titled, “How to Change a Cloth Diaper,” which I of course, never read.

Intelligent as I am, I devised a special method for cleaning cloth diapers. (I’m not sure if I was the first one to use this method.) You simply place the used diaper in the toilet, and while holding to one end, very carefully, you flush. The way to do this is to use some sort of device to your nose or you may hold your nose with one hand, the diaper in the other and use your elbow to hit the flush handle.

However, when I received the bill from the plumber I surmised that the flush method for cleaning cloth diapers was not necessarily a proper decision of a “Perfect Dad.” But, trial and error will teach you the proper technique. It must be noted that “Perfect Dads” have a very sensitive gag reflex.  I often wondered if one could not use the same method for cleaning the child as well, but I was informed that it was not allowed.

Then, too, the cloth diaper method we used required two safety pins, one for each side. This was not easy. Making the folds while holding the squirming child down required a third hand, which I did not have. I never saw a third hand on his mother, but somehow she always managed to pin the diaper on the child without sticking the pins in his skin.

I might also mention that you need protective equipment, such as goggles when changing diapers on little boys. If I were “A Perfect Dad”, I would have known that. (I should have read the book!) As I said, times have certainly changed over the years. Child rearing in this day seems much simpler to me. How hard could it be to change a disposable diaper? Tape it on?

Fathers, Grandfathers, relish in this day. In someone’s eyes, you are a “Perfect Dad.”

My Dad has long since passed on but I recall a plaque I once gave him for Father’s Day. It was purchased on the spur of the moment, a last minute decision.gift.  It featured a pair of shoes with the inscription, “No one can fill the shoes of my Dad.” My Dad loved that small gift. He placed it on his table where he could see this everyday. He was my step-dad but the only dad I ever knew.

On this Father’s Day, take a few moments to reflect upon your father, even as you celebrate being a father. Know that our Heavenly Father is the one truly, “Perfect Dad”, who produced a truly “Perfect Son. God’s Word tells us to “honor our father and mother, that our days will be long upon the land that God has given us”. Ex. 20:12

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” I John 3:1

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

June 19, 2011

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