Well, we’re here again – the one day many people celebrate with their father in mind… something most of us would agree is a good thing, yes? But I’ll share a secret with you boys that I’ve kept over the years:
If you knew what fun it was to be your father, you would have charged me for it 🙂 Seriously!
I don’t actually remember my first Father’s Day, but I remember the very first moment I knew I was a father. It was just a few moments after Scott was born, when the doc put him in my arms to hold. He was crying oh-so-hard… delivery had been long and difficult for him and his mom, and they were both tired and a little cranky. So after giving his mom and him a few minutes to get acquainted, the doc put him in my arms… screaming, with his little fists balled up (and looking none too pretty, I might add ;), I was elated and terrified in equal amounts – what was I going to do? Well, I began singing his ABC’s to him in my “normal” voice (none too pretty, but hey, it is what it is 🙂 When I got to “C”, when he stopped crying and turned his head to look me in the face. We both did what we did cause it’s what we knew: for the 3 or 4 months before he was born, I would put my head on his mother’s stomach and sing the ABC’s to him (I’d read the baby could hear sounds fairly well, so thought, why not?) and so when he was born, the most natural thing for me to do was do what I’d always done: sing his ABC’s to him.
In that instant, I knew I was a Father… and after that, I felt like, you mean I get to do this all the time? Un-belivable!
Truth be told, I was trying to get through some “issues” in my early fatherhood years (perhaps you’ve learned by now that ever-body got issues :), and did the best I could. Eventually I got my head screwed on straight and from that point forward, things settled down and I loved every minute of being a dad. Then I became a new dad, again, this time by marriage. Woo Hoo – double the fun(!) – homework, laundry, cooking and pick up / drop off @ school… not to mention captive audience for my, um, sense of humor(?).
Need cupcakes@ school? How many & when? Need extra help on your “last minute” school project? I’m there. Need b’day cake @school? What flavor? Need a parent chaperon for a field trip? Do I get to ride in the bus with the kids and make armpit farts, too, or do I have to be in a car with – eeeewwwwww – adults?
Yup. I loved every christmas, easter (bunny), Halloween, birthday, concert, practice, play, school event, vacation and holiday break. And I absolutely reveled in every single minute of snow / water skiing / snowboarding / kneeboarding / horseback riding / flying / scuba / ab diving / mtn biking / tandem riding / rollerblading. I loved Owen working with me @ H&A when he was 10, proving even a kid could do my job… and who can forget the earthquake of ’89, when at the exact moment Owen’s pick went in the concrete in the backyard patio (we were removing the patio), the earthquake struck and the ground shook… he thought he’d caused the ground to shake from the power of his strike! And then there was the tandem ride down the coast with Scott in ’94 when, from the back of the bike I hear, hey dad, when your hair turns grey, does all of your hair turn grey? Yes, son 😉
There’s nothing – absolutely nothing – I’ve experienced in life that provides the challenges and rewards that being an active and involved parent provides. Nothing. Comes. Close.
A single Father’s Day? Nope. For me, every day was Father’s Day. Now that you’ve both got kids of your own, you can compare notes, learn from one another and be the dad’s you want to be, too.
In closing, I wanted to share two songs from my past… I often thought of them as you boys were growing up, perhaps they’ll resonate with you, too.
Happy Father’s Day, boys.