While I was doing a bit of net-surfing looking for a Father’s Day inspiration, I noticed that Robin William’s character in the film “Mrs. Doubtfire” made a list of “Bad Dads.” I suspect this was in jest, as the character cared a lot about his children and wanted to raise them in an unconventional way only Williams can deliver that made the film fun, making the best out of a dividing family.
In my own family, as kids, like so many, we were taught to fear our fathers. We didn’t have “Ward Cleaver” moments when a nice Dad sat on the bed to explain something humbly to us when we were confused. Are you kidding? Trouble in school meant hell at home. My parents divorced before I finished high school. With child support ignored, he got to live his life the way he wanted without the burden of a wife and kids. And we all said, “Good for him, and good for us.”
After I started college, he came to our house for some reason and I was the only one home.
Hey. Your momma here? No.
No, Sir! Don’t get smart with me! (I back away). No, sir.
Where is she? At work.
Your brother? He ever come home from school? No, sir.
Hell, he’s been down there ten years. He needs to get out of school and get a damn job. Is that what you’re gonna do, just go to school? No sir.
(He picks up a paper) What the hell is this? My semester grades.
This good? Yes, sir, it’s the President’s List. It means all A’s.
All A’s? Well good for you. You tell ‘em it runs in the family? (I nod).
(He turns to leave). Well hell, girl. If you keep at this you’ll be a god damned doctor of something.
He had his own way of inspiring. I can’t say I didn’t learn anything from him. He made me.