About My Mother
Published by Peggy Rowe · Yesterday at 2:22 PM ·
A Father’s Day Argument:
John: (at breakfast on day 5 of a difficult hernia surgery.) “I wasn’t a very good father.”
Adoring, Ever-Patient Wife, Peg: (leaning over and resting her cheek against his forehead to check for fever.) “What are you talking about? You were a great father! You still are! Now drink your juice! You need liquids. You don’t want to end up in the hospital again like last night.”
John: (later, pulling the yellow afghan over his legs.) “I didn’t enjoy playing catch with the kids or watching football on TV. I wasn’t much of a role model when it came to sports.”
Adoring, mostly-patient wife, Peg: “But you played! That’s the point! This is your incision and painful swelling, talking! You’re just feeling down.”
John: “And I never liked those PTA meetings—and those tedious school choral events, and those interminable barbershop performances—and changing diapers. I was a failure as a father.”
Adoring, somewhat-patient wife, Peg: “John Rowe! I wonder how many of those ball-playing fathers would stay up until 2:30 am typing a term paper for a kid who put it off ‘til the last minute—or read to their kids by the hour—or share their life-long love of books and theater with their kids. I don’t want to hear it!!!”
Adoring, reasoning wife, Peg: (bringing Tylenol and a glass of water) Remember potty-training when the boys were little and how you ran in and joined me in the bathroom for a standing-ovation whenever they were successful? Now that’s love. I’ll bet you not all dads would do that!”
John: (fifteen minutes later, calling from the bathroom after yet another attempt) “PEGGY! COME IN HERE, HON! YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS! FINALLY!”
Adoring, good wife, Peg: “Yay! Yay! Standing ovation for John. Happy Father’s Day! Way to go, Hon!”
There are as many ways to be a good father as there are to be a good wife.
This story is running in the Baltimore Sun today. It’s about another good father—long, long ago.