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Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Sunday Musings on Father’s Day

Sunday musings (Father’s Day edition)…

1) Definition. Father. Answer below.

2) CDC. Physicians are little more than paid observers. Doctors are adept at pattern recognition. The best among them are tuned in to nuance, able to see not only the pattern but any tiny anomaly, however small. Anywhere.

I was in church this morning with my original nuclear family, celebrating Father’s Day as well as my Dad’s 80th birthday, when I notice a wrinkle in the pattern. The priest and all of the Eucharistic ministers snuck into a corner of the altar and used surgical disinfectant prior to giving Communion. Sort of like just before I enter the OR. Never saw that before.

I don’t know about you, but that kinda takes away a little of the mystery and majesty of the transfiguration, dontcha think?

3) Father’s Day. My brother, sisters and I joined Grambingo this weekend to surprise Grampbingo for Father’s Day and his 80th birthday. We are seriously fortunate to still have him. For goodness sake, all this bleating about how terrible American health care is would come to a screeching stop if the sheep just met my Dad. Bypass in 1985. Diabetes that he ignored for years. Kidney cancer in 1994. The guy is a walking scorecard for our healthcare system.

Says here it’s up to par.

4) Fatherhood. Are you a Dad? What are you doing today? I’m having a weird Father’s Day, at least for me: I haven’t seen any of my kids yet. Father’s Day for me has always been a day when I had permission to fully engage in the business of being a Dad, and it’s strange to not lay eyes on my gang yet. (“The Heir” will pick me up at the airport).

Here’s the part where the definition comes in. All it takes to father a child is viable genetic material that makes a journey of some sort or another, and joins up with someone else’s genome. Heck, nowadays neither someone even has to be present. Indeed, the coldest, most clinical definition of “father” requires no clicking of the “add location” button at all.

Not much that’s warm and fuzzy about that, eh? That, of course, is exactly the point. Father’s Day is about celebrating those among us who have actively engaged in the participatory sport of parenting. BEING a father requires connection, and in general the more the better.

On the front end of this safari to Rhode Island I had dinner with a friend who just moved back to Little Rhody, mostly to be closer to his daughters. Not a perfect move for any aspect of his career, nor all that great for his personal life, but nothing short of spectacular for his role as a father. He is simply more THERE now. I should have told him how proud I was of him for that part of his move, but I think he knows.

We probably can’t change today’s name, maybe “Dad’s Day” instead of “Father’s Day,” but in a nutshell that’s my actionable definition of “Father”, one who is active in the pursuits associated with being a Dad. Little League practice instead of 18 holes; another soccer game at 0800…in the rain; ice cream cones at that little shack instead of beers with the guys at the game.

Being a Dad is hard work to be sure, but it’s also good work. We can, and should, choose this whenever we get the chance. Grampbingo did, and that’s why it’s 1:30 and I’m still 3 hours from my first hug from my own kids, as I give my own Father a bonus weekend to actively be my Dad.

So Happy Father’s day to each one of you Dads at the Crossfit table. And Happy Father’s day to Dick White, my Dad. How lucky I am to still be able to say that.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at June 19, 2011 10:33 AM


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