You Know My Baby Will

Father’s Day, I think, is one of the more useless holidays. I’m not going to look it up, but I suspect it is an artifact of greeting-card companies, or some other entity motivated by money.

When I was a child, myself and my siblings thought there should instead be a Children’s Day. Of course, that was because we were young and selfish. But now that I’m older . . . and no doubt still selfish . . . I again hew to that view. Fathers are not important in and of themselves. What is important is who they father.

The way things are set up in this particular place, life is primarily purposed to produce new life. You do that, and you’ve done your job. The new is ever an improvement on the old. That’s the design.

Among the several wise and true things penned by the mercurial Minnesotan Robert Zimmerman are these lines from “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”:

well if i die on top of the hill
and if i don’t make it
you know my baby will

Every father thinks that his daughter is bright and beautiful and damn near close to perfect, but in my case it happens to be true. It is also true that she has borne more suffering, with more grace, than I ever have or will. It is likewise true that this suffering is my fault, because her accident occurred in my house, on my watch. Sometimes people try to tell me that this is not so, but they are wrong, and they know it.

So for Father’s Day I would like to thank my daughter for being here, for brightening my life, for putting up with me, for carrying on. None of these things, I know, are easy.

And offer some father-type film clips from movies I think she likes. About people who had it rougher, in different ways, than have we.

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When I Worked

June 2010
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