I became a man, a husband and a father, in that order on my way to the skin-covered doorstop with hair status I currently enjoy now. Two out of three of the transitions were really the result of others interacting with me.
I was a man, or thought I was, when I met the woman I loved and married. There's a joke that suggests a man marries a woman because he loves her for who she is- a woman marries a man for who he is and then changes him. I've been assured by my wife that I have no opinion on the veracity of that observation.
My children are who made me a father-and by whatever route you employed to get to this place, whether you're got a rack full of green and chartreuse ties or enough bags of golf tees to last you into the next century, if you are a father, Happy Father's Day.
In years past, I'd have linked my goodbye right around here to a wonderful Groucho Marx ditty but as I sat down to write this, a not-quite-as-old but -equally-marvelous bit from John Lennon's A Spaniard in the Works (his take on a spanner in the works) visited my memory. I used the selection as an oratory submission for the Browning School for Boys Annual Public Speaking Contest during my first spring semester.
I thought I was marvelous and far superior to the wet nap who won the prize, some stupid trophy of a guy waving his arms about in the air as if attempting to fly has anything to do with public speaking. Roger C, one of the most moneyed of youngsters in the entire school, and one of the thickest in terms of intellect, captured the trophy with a three and half minute reminiscence about a hunting trip he and his dad took to Kenya when he was twelve.
I'm smiling even wider as I type this now with that thought running around in my head as I try to imagine me and my dad on a safari in Kenya at any age, perhaps best during the Ice Age. Buddy, friend and pal, indeed!
Happy Fathers Day.