Father’s Day dawned, like it frequently does here, with a torrential rainstorm and gloomy grey skies. Fortunately, I have lived here long enough to know that you never should plan any outdoor activities in June, i.e., a barbeque, without having a bad-weather Plan B. Actually, forget June, that rule applies for any month in this city. Anyway, our plans for this Father’s Day were actually non-dependent on the weather – the boys were headed to a lunchtime birthday party and Rob and I went out for a rare lunch date. Prior to that, Rob opened his gifts – golf balls! – and took the boys on a trip to Home Depot. Oh boy! Nothing says “Dad” like a trip to Home Depot. Apparently much fun was had by all.
Rob is an awesome dad. He’s wonderful with the boys and they, of course, adore him. However, and I’m going to whisper this very softly, I don’t think he would be as good of a dad if we had girls instead of boys. Is that a terrible thing to say? I’m not saying that he wouldn’t love them, or be a good dad, but I think he is a better father to boys.
“Brian would just be too tough on boys” a friend told me, regarding her husband and his relationship with their two girls. I thought about that for a long time. Is Rob too tough on the boys? I think about when they are whiny, and he tells them to “man up” – something I would never do. I think about when they hurt themselves: Mark won’t cry, and Jake will furiously wipe away tears with a stoic expression.
Meanwhile, the boys want to grow up to be JUST LIKE HIM. Well, Mark wants to be just like him, even going so far as to say he wants to work in the same building and same office, he wants to be exactly the same height and play with the same golf clubs. Exactly the same. Jake, however, wants to be BETTER. He wants to be taller, and stronger, and – despite the fact that he is not yet four, people – he has been quoted as saying “I am going to make more money than you and have a faster car”. Yes indeedy.
Sometimes I will come into the living room to see the three of them squished together on the big chair, to hear them saying “I love you” to each other, and I know that he is not too tough, that the boys know their dad thinks they are the best and will always be there for them. And the love affair goes both ways, the boys climb into bed with him in the early morning for a snuggle, they clamor with excitement when he gets home from work, they can’t wait to tell him about their day. They think he’s the best dad ever, and I think so too.