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Monday, June 17, 2013

Of Fathers And Sons

My wife is on the computer all day long writing a 1500 word essay on The Secret Garden for night school... I watched the video and wanted to kill myself - how boring.

Whatever... as such... I don't have time to write anything for Monday (at the moment)... so let's just say - I hope all you dad's out there had a happy father's day!

I got a nice homemade card and a breakfast of eggs Benedict - a croissant with fresh smoked salmon (way better than the usual ham or bacon) with a lightly poached egg (4!) and then Hollandaise sauce on it. Lovely! I'll take an extra Lipitor pill (for my high cholesterol) and should survive the night. Nawwww... I know it doesn't work that way. 

While my wife worked on her essay, I played soccer and baseball with my 7-year-old son! Had lots of fun.

The day before we did the same, had McDonald's for breakfast, went LEGO shopping for me, while he picked up a video game for his Nintendo DS.

On Friday, I took the day off and took him out of school and visited Toronto LEGOLand and had a blast.

It was my Father's Day weekend with my son. He has already said it was the best weekend of his life. I can't argue with that.

As for my father... though we aren't as close as some folks are with their father, we have a great relationship. He has always been there for me, and hopefully he knows how much I appreciate that.

Unlike myself and my son, my father put in a lot of extra hours at work and thus wasn't around as often as I am with my son. To be honest, that was fine by me. And I even now wonder if I don't spend too much time with my son...

But... my son seems to need that... so there or here I am. I also coach (co-coach) his soccer team, and I enjoy it very much. My son seems to as well, and if he's not the best player in the league, he's certainly one of the better ones. He's coach-able, and has a desire to do his best - and it impresses me because I don't see that from all the other kids.

I really didn't think he was going to be as good as he is. Hopefully, my father feels the same way about me, and is pleasantly surprised at how I turned out... because I was pretty useless until I was 23 or so. Kind of afraid of my own shadow.

My father... you know... if it wasn't for his calming affect on me... I wouldn't be here writing to you all on a blog about Japan.

Just before I was to have left Canada for Japan, I was just beginning to come into my own as a man... but still, I tried everything I could to not go to Japan after being accepted into the JET Programme. But my father would have none of it.

He told me how proud he was of me, and how proud I should be of myself for having been selected to go to Japan. He told me to enjoy every single day there - because one day, it would be over.

He also told me to write everything down. To take photographs of everything I could. Because, he said, memory is fleeting.

He was correct, of course. About everything. I sometimes read through my daily journals and 'see' myself back in Japan experiencing things again for the first time some 23 years later - because I had forgotten about them.

It's also why writing about one's past is often a difficult thing for me. I dislike mulling over the past, as I always wonder how I could have done things differently... to make things better for myself. That's a loser's proposition. Not to think back... but to dwell and wonder 'what if'.

I still do it, of course. But that's who I am. I think for me, when I look into my past and see mistakes and triumphs and all the things I learned... all the people I knew... while it saddens me, it gladdens me.

I guess I'm an emotional kind of guy. I live and die with my emotions. But that's who I am. I am my father's son. I am my son's father. I not only survived Japan, but I thrived there. Japan made me who I am today. And I couldn't have achieved that without my father's sage advice and guidance.

Now... with a legacy written in 'print' here and in other places... one day my son will learn who is father was, and how he became the father he is.

All pretty melodramatic, eh? Whatever.

Happy belated father's day. Hope you enjoyed your new tie.

Thank goodness I don't wear one. Still... I could have used some new socks.

Andrew Joseph

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