Entertainment and Sports

Ships on Father's Day

There's nothing quite like being a dad.

By Kevin Somers
Published June 27, 2007

Father's Day was a treat. Since arriving ten and eight years ago, Erin and Claire have triggered a unique strain of love. There's nothing quite like being a dad.

The girls are always teaching us about decency, perspective, and priorities. They don't care about colour, creed, or credit limit, as long as one is nice.

Compassionate, sensitive souls, they stop to move moribund worms from withering concrete to lush grass or soil. They are respectfully quiet and polite, but giggle, laugh, and blush when something is funny.

Our girls play roughly with each other but nicely with friends and the neighbours' young children.

They help my wife and me look after our eight pets and fish with little complaint. Content, kind, and happy, I love and admire them more everyday.

I enjoy their company and spend as much time with them as possible. Kindred spirits, we hate driving, banks, crowds, malls, and rules, but enjoy riding bikes, walking the dog, and watching Family Guy together. The trampoline and driveway games are good, too.

Like pets at an old folks home, just being around my daughters is soothing and satisfying.

Statistics don't lie; it's good for them, too. Amongst other negative notables, children who grow up fatherless are more likely to spend time in jail, run away, or commit suicide. It's a tragedy and an indictment on our society that more and more kids grow up without a dad.

They don't know what their missing. Nothing could be as gratifying as helping Susan raise our daughters. Ella Wheeler Wilcox explains the feeling beautifully.

My Ships

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 - 1919)

If all the ships I have at sea
Should come a-sailing home to me,
From sunny lands, and lands of cold,
Ah well! the harbor could not hold
So many sails as there would be
If all my ships came in from sea.

If half my ships came home from sea,
And brought their precious freight to me,
Ah, well! I should have wealth as great
As any king who sits in state,
So rich the treasures that would be
In half my ships now at sea.

If just one ship I have at sea
Should come a-sailing home to me,
Ah well! the storm clouds then might frown,
For if the others all went down
Still rich and proud and glad I'd be,
If that one ship came back to me.

If that one ship were down at sea,
And all the others came to me,
Weighed down with gems and wealth untold,
With glory, honor, riches, gold,
The poorest soul on earth I'd be
If that one ship came not to me.

O skies be calm! O winds blow free--
Blow all my ships safe home to me.
But if thou sendest some awrack
To never more come sailing back,
Send any--all that skim the sea--
But bring my love-ship home to me.

Next Father's Day, I'm going to make them breakfast in bed.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.


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