In a discussion I saw on television about Born on the Fourth of July when it was first released in 1989, the movie reviewer thought that one particular scene especially showcased Oliver Stone’s diverse talent. He proceeded to point out that all through Ron Kovic’s (Tom Cruise) homecoming speech, there is a baby crying somewhere in the crowd. You never see the baby; you just hear it – Oliver Stone’s way, perhaps, of alerting the audience to the fact that while the heart and soul of the speech is positive and uplifting, underneath the surface there is something inherently not right.
It took awhile after my first cup of coffee, but then I realized that it was Father’s Day. Suddenly the sunny day outside my window dimmed ever so slightly. It’s like the phantom limb syndrome – you expect it to be there but it’s not. I still can’t believe he’s gone. Where is Oliver Stone and his crying baby track when you need them?
I finally got tired of moping around and gave in to the siren call of a sunny Sunday on the West Coast. Once outside, I walked down Thurlow Street for about 20 minutes; sat on a bench in Nelson Park until the sun felt a little too warm on my face; and then turned around and walked back. Dads were everywhere! With their kids and partners; with their kids and the family dog; with one child in the stroller and two other children trailing behind holding hands, the first child firmly hanging onto dad’s belt with the other hand. I took my time; did a lot of looking. I didn’t care if I got caught staring. It made me happy watching dads with their families. It reminded me of all the good times I spent with my own dad, both as a child and as an adult.
Happy Father’s Day!