What do you first think of when you hear or read the word, Dad? Do you think of your own father? Or do you think of a religious or historical figure such as Moses or Jesus, George Washington or Nelson Mandella? Do fictional characters come to mind from great literature, such as Atticus Finch from “To Kill a Mockingbird?” Or do examples from popular culture come to mind such as Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby), Homer Simpson, or Ward Cleaver (Hugh Beaumont)? What about any of the classic movie dads like Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) from the “National Lampoon Vacation” movies, or George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) from “It’s a Wonderful Life”?
Remembering Chevy Chase in those summer vacations movies reminds me of the fact that most so-called “family vacations” are, at best, vacations for the kids and torture for the parents. I’m generalizing, of course, but most generalizations as well as clichés, have a strong basis in truth. I stand by the proposition that we parents usually need a vacation after our family one, if only to recover and rest.
This summer my younger son, David, got to spend several weeks at the sleep- away camp he loves, while my older son, Will, is indulging his passion for rock ‘n’ roll at a Rock School where he’s taking drum lessons, and participating in numerous bands and concerts through the school. He’ll also be living, figuratively, in our garage with his own band, driving the nearby horses crazy, or am I mistaking their thrashing about as dancing?