A sappy message on Father’s Day...

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By Mike Cote

Permit me one hokey moment, would you?

While checking out the big, juicy steaks I’ve got in the refrigerator Saturday afternoon, no less than one of which will be sitting in my lower intestine sometime today, I got to thinking about Father’s Day.

Father’s Day has always been kind of an afterthought as holidays go. Few people I know circle their calendars, call up their local caterers and make sure Dad had a day never to forget.

I personally never thought much about it growing up, other than the fact that it was time once again to get Pops a tie, or a Nerf football or some non-potable liquid in a cubic bottle that would make him smell better than usual.

Mother’s Day necessitated a little more effort on my and my siblings’ parts. Breakfast must be made, flowers cut (or at least picked out of an unsuspecting neighbor’s yard), presentable clothes must be put on, and so forth.

As he usually does, the greatest philosopher of our age — Chris Rock — said it best (and I’m paraphrasing…I can’t print exactly what he said here): while mothers have the tougher job, mothers are at least generally appreciated for their efforts.

When was the last time you thanked Pops for knocking out the rent or paying the light bill? I’m not sure I ever have and I’m not sure I ever would’ve thought to do so had I never become a father myself.

My mom always told me being a parent was the toughest thing she’d ever done. Now that I’m a parent, I disagree. It’s the toughest thing anybody has ever done. Ever. Sure, you may have constructed the Panama Canal with your bare hands. Get my son to eat his broccoli or brush his teeth every once in a while and I’ll be impressed.

This year for Father’s Day, my dad is off visiting his dad. It’s really cool that he gets out to see my grandpa in Massachusetts as often as he does, something that I haven’t been able to do for many years, mostly because I can’t even afford to fly my suitcase out to Boston, let alone myself.

But a lot of the most important things I’ve ever learned I learned from my dad, which he learned from his dad. He taught me how to throw and catch a baseball, throw and catch a football, how to shoot a basketball, how to throw a bowling ball so it doesn’t meet up square with the 1-pin, and a lot of other things every boy should know.

One thing he didn’t teach me, however, is how to play golf, although he did sign me up for lessons when I was 12. Pops didn’t play much when I was growing up, part of the reason he didn’t get a chance to teach me that particular sport.

And it shows. Our last 9-hole round, about a month ago, was a whitewashing. Dad was Tom Sawyer. I was the picket fence.

Nevertheless, we had a great time smacking the ball around and talking about golf, or the Red Sox, or whatever happened to come up.

We’ll take in another round of golf when dad gets back. And, fair warning, Dad, I’ve got your number this time.

Or maybe I don’t. Who cares?

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.