It’s odd. I don’t remember much about Father’s Day from my own childhood. When I was growing up, my family never made a big deal of what my parents called “manufactured holidays,” celebrations they believed were created by Hallmark to sell cards. I recall one year, Father’s Day came and we went out to Fenway Park where, back in the olden days when I was a kid, the Red Sox players played a short baseball game with their children on the infield. It was fun. There were no gifts or cards or cookouts when my family got home from the game. That might have been for other families. For us, it was just another Sunday afternoon.
Then I got married and had a son and a daughter. That made all the difference. But the cataclysmic events of their births, those life-changing moments were only the beginning. Their births were the first few steps of a long journey.
Being a parent is hard work. Keeping children fed and safe is only the fundamental part of parenting. How we raise them, how we teach them is so essential to helping them become good people as adults. Today my children are married and successful adults. I have grand-children. I am proud of how both of my children are as adults and I love watching them with my grandkids.
Yesterday on Father’s Day I celebrated with my son and his family. During the day my son said, “I love my kids but I worry every day about what they do. I worry about what they’ll be like when they’re older.” He and his wife are doing a good job raising the grandkids. The little ones are fine. But that’s how it is. I still worry too, and my kids are well along on adulthood.
Families and family dynamics are key themes in many of my stories. A writer friend finished reading The Art of Love, my second book, a few weeks ago. He said he liked that there were at least four different kinds of relationships at play in the book. He’s right. No two relationships are the same. No two families are the same. And relationships, whether parent to child or between a couple are never easy. But they are worth the struggle.
Peter Stipe is the author of Finding Our Way; a collection of short stories, and The Art of Love, a novel. Both books are available from Amazon and from hightidepublications.com and from Peter Stipe.com Facebook: PeterGStipe