Pet Peeves

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Deadbeat Dad

By Mark D. Crantz
By Mark D. Crantz

It’s Father’s Day again. This is the time of year we recognize dads who have worked hard to raise and support their families. “That-a boy” cards and neckties dominate the gifts given to fathers all across America. Unfortunately, every year a story pops up, where a father has been overwhelmed and has lost hope by ending things with a sharpened “that-a boy” card or a necktie cinched too tight. Better go check on dad. We’ll wait for you before beginning the next paragraph.

Glad to hear everything is okay. So, where was I? Oh, yeah. I just got a text from my son. I had to put the card down and loosen my tie to read it. It said, “Happy Father’s Day.” That’s nice. I can’t say it was creative. I suspect some other dads got the same message. But it’s the thought that counts, even if, it is a modern age thought generated by; text; email; emoji; or Hillary Clinton. I’m always encouraged when my children continue to talk to me by any means possible. Remember those teenage years when grunts and sighs ruled the days. That’s when I got into cryptology. I learned a whole new language that contained no words. It seemed impossible at first. But our joint family’s solitary confinement gave each of us the time to daydream about the next family, who would be picture perfect and conversant.

My kids are now grown up with kids of their own. And now every time this year, I’m re-visited with doubts about how good I was being a dad. I don’t advise asking your children now because that would encourage answers that you might not want to hear and be too late to do any thing about. I think I did all right. I went to hundreds of soccer, baseball, and football games. My children didn’t play sports and I worry now about the time spent away at these games. And then there’s the worry that I spent too much time at the office. These were their formative years when I was mostly unemployed and hanging out at the social security office learning the importance of socialism.

To be honest with myself, I might have messed up a bit. I heard a news report that millennials do not have TV cable or cars. My son has neither. So I’m worried. I made my son watch tons of cable and we spent thousands of hours in a car. I enjoyed cable and cars. But it appears I forced these items on my son. He had no interest. As soon as he got me out of his life, so went the cable and car. I feel awful that I forced my son into a lifestyle that he didn’t want a part of. Why didn’t he sigh or grunt his displeasure?

I’ll never get these years back. I reluctantly admit that I’m a deadbeat dad. But wait a boo-hoo second. I have two grown daughters, too. They love cable and cars. Forget about it. I’m two for three. I’m a great dad. I think I’ll send a “that-a Boy” card to myself by old fashion mail, with an enclosed note and picture patting myself on the back.

Happy Father’s Day to all. You’re doing your best.


Crantz tells the Indy that he was a great dad. His three grown children have no comment.  



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