2022 – Beneficial or not, all parents can use some support | Parents and upbringing

IIt is customary to wish all dads a happy Father’s Day but the truth is I don’t know most of you and that would be rude. They can be horrible dads, the guy who tweets weird stuff to beat the ladies, or to come around maximum speed Record Maybe you’re just a mean dad, the guy who makes his kids listen to Jethro Tull on vinyl, or calls it “babysitting” when he’s looking after them on his own. Or maybe you’re the kind of real, unrepentant monster who refuses to answer a toy phone when a little kid hands it over. I don’t know, and I respect my readers too much – even the bad parents among you – to say otherwise.

But I will wish an extra dad a Happy Father’s Day this year. This is my father’s third birthday as a father and I am going to spend it with my father in my monastery, but I am writing this before I see him, so I cannot tell you any news of his endearing disposition, which has become the norm over the past few years as a tradition. I hope he wouldn’t mind if I didn’t write about it this time just because I wrote a wonderful and mostly excellent book about how beautiful and weird it is. In fact, he’d probably mind, but he’d have to forgive me for worrying that all the praise would make him cocky. A few weeks ago, the Queen of Irish Writers, Marian Keys, tweeted that she likes him and we’re still struggling with the fallout from his bloated egos.

On the other hand, my father-in-law deserves to be mentioned this time because he has kept me in his house for the past three weeks without showing much open hostility. In fact, he has done many, many times and cleverly tolerated my unmanly ways without even a chapter in my book or a declaration of love from an author. Rachel’s vacation.

Like my father, Sean is a stoic man who is practically around the house taking care of his grandchildren and keeps his phone in that protective leather-like cover that the Irish government issued to all parents around 2006. Unlike my father, he never progressed to a short game with a belt loop, giving him the lead in the This game. As with my dad, I’m a fan of all this because I’m not a literalist. When I get a workout, I use it to make the robotic pause sounds as I move around like a cartoon robot. If you ask me to put up some shelves, I will fake my death and go to Panama.

Having said that, I’ve always felt welcome here, so, as a courtesy, Sean greeted us at our various London apartments so he could put shelves, showers, paintings, and lamps on the walls there too.

Father’s Day seems to be a good time to acknowledge his help, as I have done many times for my father. If this column taught me anything, well, it’s possible that more of you liked the band My Chemical Romance more than I expected. But what has also taught me is that parents need all the help we can get.

Did you hear that my mother died? By Séamas O’Reilly Available now (Little, Brown, £16.99). Buy a copy from the Guardian Library at £14.78

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