Father Defined – Wet Necked Cousins

{mosimage}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 — at best — 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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