I’ve heard quite a few people say that Fathers Day is a bit of a ‘Commercial racket’, intended as a money-making scheme but with no real meaning behind it, unlike Mothers Day, which has greater ‘meaning’. That may be so – and I do know that Fathers Day was ”invented’ in USA mainly because there wasn’t one, but with the intention of recognising that Dads did have a part to play in the lives of their children and were thus deserving of some ‘recognition’. Taking the ‘commercial’ angle first – I’ve no problem with an an idea that creates a few jobs, contributes to the economy, generates some good feeling and does nobody any harm. In terms of parents actually becoming parents in the first place, the role of the father is transient whilst that of the mother is laborious. Even during the process of growing up, and despite the fact that most mothers are working mothers to a greater or lesser degree, it is her influence that is likely to have the most effect on a developing child? In the case of my own children, I in the main had the ‘nice’ jobs to do. I introduced my son to a dozen or so sports and regularly took him to watch cricket, football etc. I played tennis with both of them, swam with them, took them out on their bikes -sometimes so that mum could have a rest or get on with the housework -but I never complained. I did many of the school runs and attended school events -often to their embarrassment! My own father was a pretty tough man – anyone with wimpish tendencies was not going to get much sympathy! I remember one occasion when it snowed -my brothers and I were taken into the garden and made to throw a rugby ball around -without gloves! I think it fair to say that, although we respected the ‘Old Man’, life was a lot easier when he was at work, at his allotment, running miles in Richmond Park regardless of the weather , stewarding at The Royal Festival Hall to earn a few pennies (but he loved classical music) etc. Our Mum was easy to get on with -but would we have been happier if he’d walked out ? I don’t think so! Did we send him cards on Fathers Day -yes! Am I pleased to have received cards from my son and daughter -even though I was, apparently, ‘a chip of the old block’? Of course I was!