Sunday, June 20, 2010

To All the Dads Who Are Getting It Right: Happy Father's Day

Johnny and his father, John Weir,
in a scene from Pop Star on Ice.

First, please let me say: Dear Patti. I am so very sorry that you lost your father just a few days before Father's Day. My heart goes out to you, especially today, and your family is in my prayers.

Secondly, because it's Father's Day, my thoughts naturally turned not to my father, who wasn't much of one, but to Johnny's dad, a high school football hero who went on to marry the sparkling spitfire head cheerleader and have two beautiful boys. They named their firstborn son "John" after his father, and their younger boy "Brian" for football legend Brian Bosworth (I understand they mostly always call him "Boz" for the same reason).

The elder John Weir is a man who shies away from the spotlight and seems happy to let his wife take the lead there, but who is clearly just as powerful a force of parenting goodness as the indomitable Patti. Whenever Johnny speaks of his childhood, he always praises both his mother and his father for encouraging him to be fully himself. From his speech at the EQCA event: "I can only say thank you to my family for raising me in such a way that I can completely believe in everything that I do. [As the crowd cheers loudly] Yes: For Patti and John!"

But I don't know a lot about John Weir, who chooses to remain a very private figure, other than through these rare glimpses of him:

(1) A fascinating interview with Johnny and his parents in the Washington Post on the eve of the 2006 Olympics, one of the few articles which includes John Weir. My favorite quote is the one with which the writer chose to end the article:

      "My child's not weird," [John Weir] told a reporter when
      queried about Johnny's reputation. "Everyone else is."

I am very much reminded of Kurt's remarkable dad on Glee.

(2) The screen cap above, the only scene (I think) in Pop Star on Ice in which John appears, when Johnny returns to Quarryville Elementary for a meet-n-greet with the kids. I love the postures of father and son. Johnny is listening to a sort of pep talk from the school principal, but in that moment as captured here, it's like his eyes are gazing ahead with anticipation and excitement to his future: his goals, his ambitions, his dreams, everything that he hopes to accomplish; and he's determined and raring to go. While his father's gaze--as he leans forward, bracing himself against a chair in an attempt to ease his excruciating chronic back pain--simply, gently, rests on his son.

(3) The .gif below, from the same section of Pop Star on Ice. After the pep talk, Johnny heads toward the gym to meet the kids. But he stops in the hallway here, with his dad, and they hug each other. His father, a burly guy compared to the slim, lithe Johnny, kisses his son's cheek, envelops him for just a moment, then lets him go. He steps back, and Johnny moves on to the journey that lies ahead of him.

These three moments say it all to me. This is what a real father does: He is his child's champion, speaking up on his son's behalf; he stands firmly behind his child; he holds him tight with all the love in his heart; and then--he lets him go.

I can't imagine a more beautiful or powerful Father's Day message.

Dear John, thank you to you and Patti for showing us what good parenting is all about: Loving your child fiercely enough to let him go be who he is, wherever that may take him--and standing behind him all the way.

Best wishes to you this Father's Day and always.

Congratulations to Johnny for an
awe-inspiring appearance at Skate for Hope last night!
We so very much appreciate his performing
under such difficult circumstances.

And congrats also to Johnny for winning
NewNowNext's "Most Addictive Reality Star"!
 PLEASE KEEP VOTING for him as Skater of the Year
in USFSA's 2010 Readers' Choice poll
(voting ends July 15)!

Be Good Johnny Weir also is up for a Tubey Award
for Best Candid Reality Show! Vote here!
(The show is listed on the second page among categories 5-8)

Coming soon: More info about the spectacular
Crème de la Crème Runway Fashion Show on Ice
in Detroit featuring Johnny
next Sunday and Monday, June 27 and 28!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Anonymous said...

Wow! I hadn't heard this quote before:

"My child's not weird," [John Weir] told a reporter when queried about Johnny's reputation. "Everyone else is."

That pretty much says it all - Johnny's dad is obviously a strong, loving, and lovely man.

Happy Father's Day!


WheresMyKoppy said...

As usual MM, a wonderfully written and heart felt blog. My dad was also the type like your hubby, to get down on the floor and play with Hot Wheels, little plastic soldiers or whatever.

My child's not weird," [John Weir] told a reporter when queried about Johnny's reputation. "Everyone else is."

I barely remembered hearing anything about John Weir until relatively recently when I got further into Johnny Weir fandom. When you put this quote in your blog I realized I read this article when it came out, because I remember this quote. It stuck in my mind all these years! I actually have yet to see 'Pop Star On Ice', so I have not seen the scene you included. But it's wonderful!

I have to say, when I see JOhnny's dad I almost expect to see him climb on a Harley and ride off somewhere! What great people the Weirs are!

-K said...

Tears in my eyes! I confess that once out in the big bad internet, someone called him Johnny Weird in the comments of an article and I replied with just that quote, to remind them that he is a real person with a family that loves him. (I've had to harden myself to comments since then - never read the comments!) Going to go call my Dad now...

bsontwit said...

Johnny is lucky to have such a great Dad as well as a great Mom! Obviously different than Johnny but loving and accepting of his children all the same, he is a father to admire and respect.

Happy fathers day to all the Dads out there!

Mimi Dzyacky said...

Dear Binky, you so touched my heart!

I didn't and really don't have my father in my life. However I did have an amazing uncle who showed me what real men are, what real men do, and how real men treat women. This so touches me because even though my father chose not to be involved with his children, I have known other amazing male role models!

Thank you again for your touching words!!

Wendy S said...

OK, you made me cry AGAIN!

You probably haven't noticed, but I tend not to comment on the posts that I cry over (and I think we're at about the 50/50 mark). I love them just as much (Roy Scherer, argh), but can't ever decide what to write. So I leave it to others to speak for me.

I'm going to make an exception today, to say:


We rightly compliment Patti often, because her parenting has a more public face, but John clearly deserves the same respect. Thanks for acknowledging that for us MaMO.


Daleth Hall said...

** "My child's not weird," [John Weir] told a reporter when queried about Johnny's reputation. "Everyone else is."**

That is so absolutely wonderful. Wow. Thanks for posting.

Joanne said...

Thanks for the nice post Binky! Happy Father's Day to all the great dads out there. I just wanted to point out another scene where (I think) John appears in PSOI. After Paris moves out Johnny has to move in a hurry, right before leaving for an international skating event-- I'm pretty sure that's his father there in the background, helping him move.

Misfit Mimes said...

Thank you all. :) @Joanne: Good eye! Actually, that's in one of the episodes of Be Good Johnny Weir, and I love that scene, where Patti complains to John that Johnny is lying on the floor whining and maybe John should come kick him... real life, real parents, real senses of humor. The Weirs are wonderful. :)

Maggie St. said...

Happy Father's Day, John Weir!

(and gee, thanks for making me cry again, MM! Great post)

Nico said...

It's so interesting how the Weirs in general seem to operate from a place of belief...they simply seem to believe that what they do matters not only to them (which it obviously does, very much) but also to the people around them, and they behave accordingly. Thus, they set these incredible examples for all of us, by simply being themselves. It's stunning. LOVE them.

PumaJ said...

Well said, MM. Well said... wiping tears from my eyes:-)