By Trena Eiden
The world can’t truly comprehend how amazing dads are in the eyes of their children. Fathers are like royalty without the robe, dignitaries without the jet and celebrities without the paycheck. But, put a family in a car on a vacation road trip and every 10-year-old will skeptically tell you, “Our dad says everybody sucks at driving but him.”
British prime minster, Winston Churchill told Parliament, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” This might be the mantra of every guy who became a father. I’d also add that all dads everywhere tell fabrications. Dads don’t admit they don’t know answers to questions, and instead, invents answers, which is why all offspring before the age of ten, feel their dad is the smartest one. Women know this to be totally false because we’ve witnessed men doing crazy things. Men are hardwired to be risk takers, rule breakers and mess makers, which is why the saying, “Women live longer than men” was not only written, but agreed upon as the gospel.
One day last summer, Gar and I were driving in city traffic and as we came to a red light, there was a bit of a traffic jam. A dozen men on motorcycles were coming, single file, from the opposite direction. Suddenly, one guy in the middle, flipped his bike into a wheelie and drove on the back tire until he was out of our sight. I turned to Gar, who was staring longingly, with little hearts in his eyes. I said, “See, that’s why women live longer than men.” Gar shook his head, pointed a finger at me knowingly, and with great wisdom, according to him, declared, “No, that’s why men have more adventures than women.” I sighed, “That’s probably true, but somebody has to be the sane one.”
A few days after the motorcycle motorcade, Gar and I watched a Facebook video of two little boys seeming to be about five-years-old, howling with laughter. One stood in front of a garbage can and pressed down on the foot pedal to flip up the lid while the other stood on the opposite side and let the lid smack him in the face. After gleefully doing this several times, they’d switch places and repeat the motion. I watched Gar intently as he laughed, but then grimaced like he thought it was crazy. I said, “Don’t give me that scoffing look. Just yesterday you were drooling over a guy doing a wheelie on a motorcycle in the middle of downtown traffic, and once upon a time that same guy was a little boy standing on one side of a garbage can getting hit in the face with the lid. Chortling, Gar agreed so I added, “And you know, this wouldn’t have happened to two little girls. The first time that trashcan lid popped up and bonked one of them in the nose, it would have been game over. Girls aren’t into doing anything that causes pain. I think you he-men value entertainment over logic.”
I’m not saying men like to be tortured but they oftentimes do things that women wouldn’t necessarily find acceptable. In medieval Germany, married couples could legally settle their disputes by fighting a Marital Duel. To even the field, the man had to fight from inside a hole with one arm tied to his body. The woman was free to move and was armed with a sack filled with rocks. This was not forced upon them, nope, the men were willing candidates.
Men say interesting things too. One day not long ago, Gar and I were in his bathroom. He was shaving and I was changing out towels. I said, “Do you notice when I clean your bathroom?” He shrugged, “I do when you clean the toilet.” I snarkily replied, “If you’d clean it, you wouldn’t have to notice I did it.” He shook his head, “Well, if I did it, how could I tell when you did it?” And it’s not just Gar saying goofy manly things. Tom Brady once told his teammates, “We’re not gonna win scoring no points.” And who could forget Yogi Berra’s, “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”
Our granddaughter told her dad, our second son, “There are eleven words that don’t rhyme, and nothing goes with purple.” Winking, he leaned close to her and uttered, “I sit here and choke, it’s turning me purple, Heimlich won’t work but I bet a burp’l.” Happy Dad’s Day, Dads.