It's Father's Day, and though this is my third opportunity to celebrate my fatheritudosity, it's still a little weird for me.
Mother's Day doesn't freak me out, most likely because I'm not a mother, though I am a bad mother--
(shut your mouth!)
Father's Day is like someone coming up to me and telling me that it's my birthday, even though I know it's not.
Have I really done enough to warrant celebration for my performance as a father? I spend a lot of time with Brody, which is cool, but am I doing okay? Lemme check.
He knows his superheroes.
He recognizes the themes to "Star Wars," "Superman" and "The Price is Right."
He knows "Guess what? Chicken butt" but doesn't abuse it.
So far, so good.
My own dad is a tremendously good sport with a great sense of humor. I say this not because I'm planning on telling a funny story about him but because he put up with my brother and me making merciless fun of him while we were growing up. It wasn't malicious; it was always out of love.
Even when we, ignoring the dynamics of regional dialects, teased him for saying "warsh" instead of "wash," which he has since stopped.
I'm ignoring the time we were in a Burger King parking lot and the bubbles from the first sip of soda tickled my dad's nose, and he, trying to fight the impulse to sneeze, emitted a strangely loud "HNNNNNNNH!" noise. No need to recount that tale.
One of the funniest things -- and the first to give me an image of what I'd likely be like as a dad -- happened here in Modesto.
It was summer day in Modesto, which in the words of Eugene Jerome was "Africa hot." We were going to a store, and our car didn't have air conditioning. So after our shopping trip, we could look forward to bursting into flame once we got back in the hot car.
To reduce the heat a little, my dad would often park by a tree for shade. And every time we parked by a tree, he'd tell us that it wouldn't be as hot when we got back in.
"Look," he said as he pulled into a parking place, "right by a tree. Pretty sly, huh?"
As he said the word "sly," the end of the parking spot came a little quicker than he'd anticipated, and he had to stop abruptly, which caused his Big Gulp to fly forward, splashing on the floorboards. Much laughter and Flintstonian grumbling ensued.
That was, oh jeez, like probably 20 years ago, and we still can't mention the word "sly" without laughing.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.