On Father’s Day, I remember my father. Of course, I come from the past, when everyone could remember their father. I regret that so many of our youth today don’t know their fathers.
He was a shy man – didn’t say much. Most of our interactions were the subject of my place in the world in the future. “You should think about doing this or that, but be sure not to do that.”
Now, my mother – “she who must be obeyed” – ruled the roost. But at critical times, my father would rise to support her. There was no light between them when my sister and I thought we knew better than they. When The Baritone Voice sounded, the arguments were over. While my mother would explain – several times – why I was wrong, and what uncles, aunts and grandparents had contributed genetically to my hopeless condition, The Baritone Voice was always of brief duration: “OK, that’s enough. Go to your room.”
As a teen, I thought my father was especially old-fashioned, naïve and rather hopeless. I challenged him whenever possible. Push, push, push. Then would finally come The Baritone Voice and my collapse. Young buck that I thought I was, why did I back off? Looking back, there’s an easy answer. I heard The Baritone Voice all through my childhood. At that tender time there was no thought of push, push, push. I obeyed. So when The Baritone Voice sounded during my teen years, I had been conditioned.
I now belatedly realize the importance of the presence of The Counselor and The Baritone Voice. I’m saddened for so many young people and children who are missing the paternal side. Mothers will always be pestered and, especially after a long day’s work, I imagine the kids will get more of their childish ways than if there were a Baritone Voice to call on. I feel bad for those kids . . . and their moms.