Father’s Day is upon us. This, the 63rd most important of all our national holidays, is actually, from an official standpoint, just a few months older than your humble author. And while it may seem hard to believe that a scant 23 years have passed since President Richard Nixon hopped in the presidential DeLorean to sign the celebration into law in 1990, few can argue the day’s importance to the polyester necktie and English Leather industries. Yet, while just six weeks prior mothers across the country were served breakfast in bed and had their likenesses celebrated in all manner of pasta-based sculptures (and left to clean up the mess of each), dads rarely get something homemade. Which is fine. I love my kids, but I don’t want them trying to build me a new power drill by taping a screwdriver to a 9-volt battery when everyone knows you need at least six D-cells. All I want is a nap. A mythical event of which I often speak but never seem to experience.
While Father’s Day is theoretically all about me (and my own dad, I guess) and my ability to get into theme parks for half-price with another paid admission and a Tab can, it also serves as a reminder of the awesome, massive, crushing responsibilities I have in regards to raising my spawn. Beyond teaching them how to undo that Gordian knot in their shoelaces (ask mom) or safely land from a shed-based jump (do whatever the neighbor kid, who should always go first, doesn’t), what nuggets of gristle-free wisdom can I impart to guide them along life’s way when it’s not closed for filling potholes? If only there was a word for such chocolatey morsels of wisdom. Alas.
In the book of Proverbs, Solomon opens the book with seven full chapters addressed to his son. These tweet-like knowledge bombs cover a wide range of wide-ranging topics – everything from how to avoid harlots, to what to do with money (avoid harlots) to how to warm your hands before milking the goat. Sage advice, all. And while these aphorisms remain applicable today, I believe my 21st-century kids could use a few additions to the Solomonical tips on goat husbandry. Which I think has been outlawed anyway.
Fear no threat of permanent record, but woe to the youth who Instagrams everything. That’s right, kids. While that “permanent record” the school counselor is always brandishing like a shameful Hammer o’ Thor is actually of little consequence outside school walls, that Vine video of you going “full moon” at the homecoming bonfire will never be expunged from the internet. Photography is for moments you wish to immortalize, not those that might get you incarcerated.
Wisdom knows when not to be a wisenheimer. Remember that one time, after the Sermon on the Mount, when Thomas was all like, “Bein’ meek is for the weak!” and Jesus laid him out cold with a “Then you must be the meekest of all”? No? Didn’t think so. Humor at the expense of a another is too expensive a price to pay. Word.
A fool and his or her iPhone are soon parted. If you want unlimited texting, buy your own phone. But bear in mind that if you can afford your own phone and plan, you can afford to pay me room and board. Also, fix me a sandwich.
Put the sexy back. Yes, my sons and daughter, I realize that you have grown up going to malls filled with 10-foot-tall posters of undergarment-hawking Photoshop employees who have some sort of secret, but that does not mean you should go forth and do likewise. Especially you, young lady. The goal for you life should be to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, not Justin Timberlake. JT make have sweet moves, but JC created you, saved you and continues to sanctify you. Double word.
Righty tighty, lefty loosey. This is just good practical knowledge.
Wise is the child who heeds the words of Donnie Van Zant. I know that talking My Little Pony is your personal treasure. And your silky may indeed find its way to college with you. But you must learn to hold on loosely to the things of this world. If you cling to tightly to them, you’re going to (drum break) you’re going to lose control. And not in the good way.
You can go home again. Any time for any reason. Although that room and board thing still applies.
But the donuts are on me.
*Jason Fox is obviously winging this dad thing. *