Some mornings you wake up and your Ward Cleaver. Sharing profound perspicacity with Wally and the Beav before they head off to school, while June toils at the griddle preparing your daily ration of scrambled eggs and bacon. Remarkably, you have never had a cholesterol issue!
Other days, you are Phil Dunphy, trying so hard to get it right your gums hurt. Living in the shadow of your own father, whom you considered impeccable, and never quite measuring up to his standard. Sure, your intentions were good, but the results were not always as planned. Luckily, you had your own Claire to come in and repair the damage, smooth over the rough edges, and restore calm.
Then there are the times Hoss and Little Joe are in a heap of trouble, no one has seen Adam in years, and Hop Sing is demanding a livable wage. As the steady patriarch Ben, it all falls on your shoulders. Can you rise to the occasion? You try, lord knows you try, and hope you get partial credit for at least trying.
My personal favorite are the Ray Barone days. They are never easy days, but somewhere buried deep inside the insanity of it all, you try to find some humor. For example, on those interminable car rides when you turn it into the boys’ sing-along, knowing full well no one knows the words but you. Even still, you announce their solo spot and roundly cheer when the vocals have finished, and Clarence is wailing away on his saxophone. Looking back, you see their shy smile, not quite knowing what’s actually happening, but enjoying the ride just the same.
Never seen amidst all the pandemonium is a Tom Corbett, Jim Nash, Andy Taylor, Steve Douglas, Alex Stone, Mike Brady, nor even a Rob Petrie. They set the bar too ridiculously high. A standard impossible to achieve. Of course, the children were way to complacent and obedient to be believed as well.
There might have been a Herman Munster or Gomez Addams occasionally, but that only seemed to be when the in-laws arrived. Through it all, you just hoped to stay one step ahead of the kids and survive until bedtime, when you could finally relax in front of the tube and see how other TV dads handle their children. Still, I should probably get my cholesterol tested again.