Because Jean and I have five kids, one of whom now has three little boys of her own, we take more than a passing interest in Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. One year, when my kids were younger, the National Father’s Day Committee actually called to advise me that I was being named one of their “Fathers of the Year.” I wrote a poem about it, which went like this:
I confess to a certain pride
That I won’t attempt to hide.
I’ll admit that it delighted me to hear
That the Father’s Day Committee,
Which is based in New York City,
Has named me one of the Fathers of the Year.
No, it’s not the least bit bad
To be honored as a dad.
Although, you may wonder what I did to win it.
If you ask how I do it,
I will say there’s nothing to it.
To explain it now will only take a minute.
It is absolutely true
That there’s nothing that I do
To make the Father’s Day Committee name me.
It all has to do with Jean
And five kids named Kathleen,
Winston, Annie, Emily, and Jamie.
Three lasses and two laddies,
I’m the luckiest of daddies.
They are wonderful as any kids could be.
And though often I’m not there,
They can hear me on the air
And also see me there on the TV.
I’m sure Jean was pleased to hear
That I’m Father of the Year.
It must thrill her as she goes about her life
To be informed that I am such a splendid guy—
And she’s the Father of the Year’s wife.
Every morning she gets up
To a day that never lets up
To pack lunches for the kids to take to school.
She does that every day,
Although I am far away.
I’m long gone to work by that time,
As a rule.
Yes, it must seem really keen.
I’m sure it must to Jean.
It must fill her with satisfying cheer
To hear that in the city
The Father’s Day Committee
Has picked me as a father of the year.
When she drives them all to school,
Trying hard to keep her cool,
As the rush hour traffic slowly moves along,
She must give a little smile
At this little daily trial
And wonder if she’s doing something wrong.
She tends to them when they’re sick;
When they’re hurt comes running quick.
It is she who helps them with the violin.
I would do it if I could,
I am certain that I would,
Were it not that I am very seldom in.
It is Jean who drives them places,
And makes sure they wash their faces,
And finds their missing jackets and their shoes.
It is she who does it all,
While yours truly has the gall
To be off somewhere gathering some news.
Jean breaks up each fight,
Reads stories every night,
And when they have troubles, takes time to hear.
She does that, truth to tell,
And she does it all so well.
That’s why they named me Father of the Year.
I eagerly await, any day now, a call from the National Grandfather’s Day Committee. Jean will be so pleased.
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