If I were able to upload a current photograph to illustrate today's post it would be of Jemimah sitting at the kitchen table making a card for her Daddy.
Tomorrow is Fathers' Day in Australia, and at this very moment Jemimah is using fabric from a pair of old boxer shorts to decorate a card to give to her beloved Daddy. A relic from another Fathers' Day long past, the silk fabric is printed with medals saying variously, 'Top Pop'; 'Father of the Year'; 'No. 1 Pere'; 'No. 1 Pater'; 'You're the best' and more. The card is going to be beautiful, and it will honour the man most important in Jemimah's life.
This card, made with love and care, will be very different from the offerings available at out local newsagency. Purchasing a preprinted card for Fathers' Day is a somewhat terrifying experience in my opinion. You have a choice of a garishly decorated missive celebrating total incompetence, flatulence, impotence or ballooning weight. You can purchase a card sporting a button announcing 'I'm the Boss' only to discover that Dad is to return it to Mum in the morning. You will find cards announcing that Dad doesn't need an expensive gift because he already has one - your child. But, if the cards at my newsagent's are anything to go by, you will not find a single card that says simply 'I love you, Dad', or 'Thank You for being my Father' or even simply 'Happy Fathers' Day'. No, it appears that it is simply not cool to tell your father that you love him.
Which begs the question of why you are bothering to buy him a card at all.
This is the first Fathers' Day I will celebrate without my own dear Dad. I would give pretty much anything to be able to tell him how much I love him. So why is it then that when men are still alive they are shown so little respect?
We are told to honour our fathers. It is not a request - it is a command. We are to honour them not because of what they have done, but because of who they are. We are to honour them simply because they are our fathers.
That's what Jemimah is doing right now as she carefully creates her masterpiece. She is honouring her Daddy. She is saying that she is glad that he is in her life. She is saying she loves him because of all his quirks and perfections, not despite them. She is saying 'Thank you for being my Dad'.
She is saying I love you Daddy.
And she does.