Like most of these so-called “holidays”, Father’s Day really doesn’t mean a whole lot to me, a day that seems more about a quick bump in sales for ties and power tools. There is one tradition that was honored here this past week, however, one that every father at some point in his child’s life will receive – the lovingly crafted school art project as gift. Like my father before me and his father (probably) before him, this was the year that I finally was presented with my own clay ashtray.
I’m sure that it wasn’t intended to be an ashtray, smoking-related paraphernalia almost certainly frowned upon in most first-grade craft rooms, but it sure looks a lot like the ashtrays that I molded every year over three decades ago. Until I find a more suitable use it will be displayed prominently with all the other clutter on my desk, a testament to her skill and love, probably filled with paper clips or something. Currently, it is serving as a toilet for Spider-Woman.
As I sit here and reflect on this marvelous piece of modern art I realize that it serves another purpose, a metaphor on parenting that we could all occasionally be reminded of.
Whether we care to admit it or not, we all enter parenthood with preconceived notions of what our child will turn out like, what we think will be the ultimate result. We mold, we shape, we craft these little people the best we can to fit these ideas, but in the end we really have no idea what the hell the final result will be. All we can do is the best that we are able, to inject as much love and purple paint into the equation as we can, throw a little glitter into the mix and hope that our efforts are appreciated.
Maybe sometimes the most important thing that we can do is to make sure that they always end up on the mantle.
Previously Published on thirstydaddy.com