What is a Father? Why is My Cousin’s Neck Always Wet?

Aunt Louise – Mother Cat

One of the questions we receive often from those who seem earnest is why we
call the newsletter The Inside Magic Daily News when in fact; it comes out three times a week. That is
a good question. We look at the adjective “Daily” as a goal to attain rather
than merely a modifier of the noun “News.”

Which brings us to Fathers Day.

For
many, “father” is a goal to be attained rather than a descriptive noun used to
identify the biological or adoptive male influence in a family situation.

As it is used in the phrase “Fathers Day” it modifies (albeit
ungrammatically) the day we are to celebrate. It is similar to Mothers Day or
Ladies Night or Kids Eat Free Day.

(Hallmark has wonderful cards celebrating the
last two events, by the way. One of our favorites has a cover picture of a
red-headed lad eating a massive amount of pasta and cheese. On the inside of the
card, the script reads, “‘Kids Eat Free Day’ leads to ‘Parents Don’t Sleep
Night.'” Ironically, this same inscription is found in the Ladies Night card).

In the Hardy family, however, we are reminded of Aunt Louise Hardy’s
definition. In the same manner children are taught about Santa, seven sons and
daughters learned about a “father.”

There were truly fathers for them; they knew
that from their schooling and the blunt accusations from family members at our
annual reunions. Their poor mother tried to shield them from the reality of her
life in the series of carnivals she worked to support her “litter.”

(Aunt Louise always referred to her kids as “kitties” and so the group of
them became her “litter.” She also went so far as to pick them up and move them
to places by biting the back of their necks and carrying them. This became
embarrassing for my cousin Tomasina during high school and is likely the subject
of many of her court-ordered counseling sessions).

The children would ask, “Mother Cat, was that our father who came to visit
last week?”

Aunt Louise would shake her head slowly and with understanding eyes and soft
voice offer, “No, Kitty. You know how when we go to shopping plazas we see men
dressed as Santa? They are Santa’s elves representing and reporting back to
Santa. When you sit on their knee and tell them what you want for Christmas,
they pass the information on to Mr. Santa back at the North Pole.

“It’s the same thing with fathers. The men you see around are just
representatives of the real father. They fill a need and leave to represent what
a father is to another family. A father is someone more than a man who lives in
the same house for a short or long time.

Tears would well in the slit-eyes of my aunt as she continued, “A father,
like Santa, is special and worthy of believing in. Like Santa’s elves at the
department stores that take off their costumes at the end of day and become just
normal men, the men who leave here remove their father-costumes but your real
father never changes.”

We are…

Aunt Louise – Mother Cat

One of the questions we receive often from those who seem earnest is why we
call the newsletter The Inside Magic Daily News when in fact; it comes out three times a week. That is
a good question. We look at the adjective “Daily” as a goal to attain rather
than merely a modifier of the noun “News.”

Which brings us to Fathers Day.

For
many, “father” is a goal to be attained rather than a descriptive noun used to
identify the biological or adoptive male influence in a family situation.

As it is used in the phrase “Fathers Day” it modifies (albeit
ungrammatically) the day we are to celebrate. It is similar to Mothers Day or
Ladies Night or Kids Eat Free Day.

(Hallmark has wonderful cards celebrating the
last two events, by the way. One of our favorites has a cover picture of a
red-headed lad eating a massive amount of pasta and cheese. On the inside of the
card, the script reads, “‘Kids Eat Free Day’ leads to ‘Parents Don’t Sleep
Night.'” Ironically, this same inscription is found in the Ladies Night card).

In the Hardy family, however, we are reminded of Aunt Louise Hardy’s
definition. In the same manner children are taught about Santa, seven sons and
daughters learned about a “father.”

There were truly fathers for them; they knew
that from their schooling and the blunt accusations from family members at our
annual reunions. Their poor mother tried to shield them from the reality of her
life in the series of carnivals she worked to support her “litter.”

(Aunt Louise always referred to her kids as “kitties” and so the group of
them became her “litter.” She also went so far as to pick them up and move them
to places by biting the back of their necks and carrying them. This became
embarrassing for my cousin Tomasina during high school and is likely the subject
of many of her court-ordered counseling sessions).

The children would ask, “Mother Cat, was that our father who came to visit
last week?”

Aunt Louise would shake her head slowly and with understanding eyes and soft
voice offer, “No, Kitty. You know how when we go to shopping plazas we see men
dressed as Santa? They are Santa’s elves representing and reporting back to
Santa. When you sit on their knee and tell them what you want for Christmas,
they pass the information on to Mr. Santa back at the North Pole.

“It’s the same thing with fathers. The men you see around are just
representatives of the real father. They fill a need and leave to represent what
a father is to another family. A father is someone more than a man who lives in
the same house for a short or long time.

Tears would well in the slit-eyes of my aunt as she continued, “A father,
like Santa, is special and worthy of believing in. Like Santa’s elves at the
department stores that take off their costumes at the end of day and become just
normal men, the men who leave here remove their father-costumes but your real
father never changes.”

We are fortunate to have a father who lives up to both the dictionary
definition and highest concept of the term.

Think then of the Inside Magic Daily News as a “high concept” and for the
time-being, you are merely seeing the elves of the Daily News. They point
towards the true essence of the newsletter but should never be confused with the
truth.

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