07 June 2015

What'll we do about Father's Day?

So I'm sitting comfortably at my computer, writing my new work-in-progress, passing the 10,000 word mark, and it hits me! I should be promoting my just launched novel, the one titled AIKO. It's a kind of Father's Day story, after all. Father's Day is quickly approaching and everyone else is doing a grad and dad marketing blitz. (Or they should!)

Well, everyone knows that grads are tired of reading. Dads tend to be reading averse, too. So maybe books do not make the best gifts. Job search books for grads, perhaps. A book on dad's current hobby, maybe. But fiction too often falls to the dark, dusty shelf of well-intended gifts. Next to the neckties. 

(Sure, AIKO is a novel about a man discovering he is a father and the many obstacles he must overcome to really make it true, but that would be my pitchman talking. Ignore him.)

So how many books are there about Father's Day, anyway? Or about fathers in general? Mothers are easy. Brothers and sisters are common. The sweet aunt and the generous uncle are often seen in literature. In my vast reading, Fathers are generally the bad guys, villainous, cruel, authoritarian, mean, and uncaring. Sometimes they are only the bad memory a protagonist has and we get a couple of incidents to showcase dad's unpleasantness. It's almost a stereotype. Fathers get a bad rap, I think; we only hear about the bad ones. (Think of Darth Vader, a.k.a. "Dark Father", and others of his ilk.)

If you've been following this blog you probably know I'm a dad. It's a weird feeling knowing there is someone living in the world partly as a result of my actions. Sure, we can imagine clones, or cyborgs, but another human? That's crazy. Like us and yet not like us. And eventually they go their own ways and have their own lives and we scratch our heads and think What just happened?

As I think back on the eighteen years, I can pinpoint a few things I did that may have helped raise this baby to adulthood. But there are just as many other things I did that I have no clue about. Maybe they helped, maybe they hurt. Only my grown child can tell. If it is even possible to figure that out conclusively. But I'm pleased, even proud, of how this googly little bundle of joy became this awesome adult who vaguely resembles me in appearance and words and behavior. 

Someday I should write a book about the child who calls me Father. Or, perhaps that child has already started a book. Well, that would be appropriate, I suppose--metaphorically speaking. For are we not all books of a sort, writing our chapters year after year, taking the good with the bad, putting a spin on it to keep the gods reading on, turning each page? We write until we run out of pages. And we seldom get to type those final words THE END. The end just happens.

So for now, I must pass the reigns over to my protégé. No longer do I need to concern myself so much with me doing great things and achieving this and that and tell my child about, you know, the things I can boast about. Now it is time for me to boast about my grown child, to note what this new adult is doing, and praise the new things, the new deeds, of this adult--to praise and be proud of what my child has done more than be happy at what I have done. 

Parental retirement dawns. I can stop writing each chapter and just sit back and read what someone else has written, seeing what this child of mine will write in the years to come.

(C) Copyright 2010-2015 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.


  1. As always, a fine, entertaining post! Welcome back to the blogosphere!

  2. Well said Stephen. As a proud father of an phenomenal woman I think I understand how you feel.