So, it’s another Father’s Day and memories of my dad are alive and well. On a more personal note, my two grown sons are coming over today to spend some time with their old man. For that I’m grateful.
I work for them. I pay bills for them. I hold their coats for them. I exercise for them. I do a lot for them. All they have to do is show up, and that’s enough for me. Curious, isn’t it? How giving changes your expectations. Reaching out to others naturally minimizes your desire for return.
In other words, as my old friend Bill Hooten used to say, thinking of others frees us from the prison of thinking of ourselves.
Also, I am not by nature a giving person. I am way too selfish and immature. My children, though, mined emotions I was unaware I possessed. I have written about this many times, but it is a phenomenon unknown to me until my kids arrived on the scene.
And, yes, I am not alone in this discovery. Parents universally agree that is the case: When the kids arrive, your life is over – as you’ve lived it. A new life begins – as you now will live it, and it is glorious. Life finally made sense to me. That doesn’t mean it was any easier to navigate the day or that I loved being alive. Absolutely not. Nope. It just made sense. The purpose was clear: Kids matter because they did not have a choice in being born. I made the choice and that choice requires a lifetime of commitment that stretches past one’s lifetime.
A special note as well today: My heart goes out to those who may be estranged from their family. This day represents nothing more than a reminder of things unresolved. Heartfelt memories vie for attention against today’s unfulfilled promise and melancholy heartbreak. I say to you: There are better times ahead. There are. We must be present to witness the change. The change does come and it is worth the price – which is heavy – of admission. I salute you today. You are my inspiration.
And finally, I say thank you to my Pop. He always had my back. I rarely had his. I do now. But that is too little, too late. Or perhaps not. I know this, when he died, all was right between us. He may have been worried about my ability to carry on without him, present, watching my back. But so far, so good.
His lesson to me is being extended to my kids, which, I suppose, is what dads’ want. We want to guide our children to the point where they can guide themselves. Then, the cycle is complete. And their smiling children say to them: “Happy Father’s Day.” Life is, indeed, grand.