Father’s Day Apology (on Behalf of Many Children Now Grown)

I know I beat up on men a lot in this column. But, not today. Today I will be good and on behalf of many children, albeit now grown, I offer the following apologies.

Dear Dad,

Since this is Father’s Day, I just want you to know I’m sorry for all the times I stood in front of the TV during the games just to get your attention.  Except for the one time when I set the toaster on fire and tried to put it out with orange juice.  You said for us not to disturb you unless one of us was on fire, but I thought that was close enough.

I’m sorry I never told you where Mommy would hide the remote. I wanted to help you, but she’s the one who makes cupcakes.

Now that 20 years have passed, and the statute of limitations is up on killing children for touching your things, I think it’s safe to tell you, you were right. We did know what happened to your new fishing rod that disappeared from the garage. Joey was showing it to a friend and they started to sword fight with the two halves of the pole. And Joey broke the tip off the end of the pole. We knew you’d kill somebody when you found out, so we buried the evidence in the woods and let you think somebody stole the pole.

I know who dented your Trailblazer in the winter of 2000. Mom picked us up from ice skating and we were fooling around by the car and the neighbor’s kid who was with us threw my skates because he liked me, and one hit the car. Mom said not to tell you unless it was a deathbed confession or after you sold the car, whichever came first. Since you sold the car last year, I think the truth can come out now.

Carl said it’s okay to tell you, now that he’s living in Colorado, that he was the one who tipped over the tool cart and sent all your nuts and bolt and wrenches flying that day. He and a friend were playing Spiderman and they had to move the cart so it could be the Empire State Building, and it got away from them and tipped over.  We all helped to find all the pieces and put everything back in the cart the way you had it, but none of us remembered exactly where everything went.  We were finding nuts and bolts for weeks and dreading the day when you’d go into the garage and find out what happened. I have to admit Dad, you really scared us on the day you discovered the tool cart had been touched. Mom thought you were going to have a stroke. We were all watching from a safe distance in the woods, but we could hear everything you said. Our cursing vocabulary increased by about 150% that day.

I apologize for going behind your back and seeing that guy, Tommy. You were right, he was a bad guy, I didn’t see him long, just long enough to make my point that you can’t tell me what to do.

Susan is sorry about the maple syrup spill in the fishing tackle box nine years ago. She had a little container of syrup from McDonald’s and it started to leak. She didn’t want to get in trouble for spilling syrup in the backseat of the Trailblazer, and your tackle box was right there on the floor in the back, so she put it in there, intending to take it out when we got home.  But when we got home, all the syrup had leaked out. So, denial and prayer were her only means of defense.

We’re all sorry for what we did to you. You were and are a good father and we love you.  There’s other things we have to tell you, but we’re trying to spread them out.  Next year, we’ll tell you about what happened to
the roofing tiles and how those squirrels got in the house.

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