Published June 17, 2012
This Sunday, fathers around America will be showered with gifts, meals, hugs and activities centered on us. We will receive ties, cologne, cufflinks and gift cards from our wives. Our children will give us clay coin holders (which were ashtrays 30 years ago), and art featuring stick figure families, with daddy having the largest circle-head. We will be thanked for our hard work, our sacrifice and our love...And many of us dads will think it's all much ado about nothing.
Of course we lay down the law. Yes, you better defer to us when it comes to the thermostat, lights and how long it takes to shower. Yes, we are the he-man bug killers and retrievers of stuff on high shelves. You better believe that we are the driving instructors and keepers of the remote, and don't you forget ANY of that!
But the one thing that Father's Day means to fathers is gratitude. Boy oh boy, we are so thankful for YOU.
Most every father I know, myself included, lives in awe of our families. None of us ever get over the images of pregnancy and childbirth. Those events impact us forever, and frame our lives forever.
Most of us spend Father's Day just so happy that you love us, so humbled by the miracle of life. We are amazed we somehow got to marry a girl like YOU. We can't get over that our daughters love us, and that our sons want to BE us. On Father's Day, we get out the telescope and count our lucky stars.
Fathers' Day is not only a day of reflection, for most dads it's a day which finds us looking forward as well.
As we look around us, the hunter-gatherer in us takes note of what the family needs going forward. We pledge silently to ourselves that Monday begins a new push for more and better, safer and healthier everything for our families. We resolve that we will be better fathers, more attentive husbands; prepared to double our efforts so as to provide. Longer days, harder work, less sleep; whatever it takes to keep the family healthy, protected and happy.
Many of us will promise ourselves to finally get to the doctor for the check ups and screenings which we hate so much. Because we so fear our own mortality, very often men take refuge in the notion that "no news is good news" so we avoid the doc like the plague itself.
Father's Day reminds us how badly we want to be around for as long as possible to see weddings and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
So at some point this Sunday, take a few moments to just observe dad.
I promise that if you watch us long enough, you'll see a deep breath, a wiped tear or a lingering gaze. At any moment you may see serenity, awe or fear.
And if you could hear our thoughts at those moments we'll be saying "I want this to last forever."
To our wives and children on behalf of dads everywhere, your gift to us is you...And we are so very grateful.