Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day.  I've been thinking about it enough to actually blog something for the first time in a long, long time.

My assumption is that I'll get lots of "Happy Father's Day!" and some cute presents that I'll love (even if it's a fist full of dirt).  I don't really care about getting presents for Father's Day.  I do care that my oldest will put some thought and creativity into it, my wacky boy will be thrilled to hand something to me (and probably shout "Happy Father's Day!" a bazillion times) and my baby will smile at me, 'cause she's really good at that.  This is the first time I'll be spending Father's Day with three people celebrating me.

They'll probably do that for about an hour after I wake up.  I may be lucky enough to sleep in tomorrow... like until 7:30am or maybe even 8:00am, but if I don't, I'm cool with that, 'cause it means Erin gets to sleep later and being a mom is far more exhausting than being a dad.  So the kids will be thrilled to celebrate me for about an hour and then go back to being my kids and probably whining, climbing on top of each other, complaining, destroying things, not wanting to eat what we give them or smiling at me.  Tessa is really a pretty awesome baby.  She smiles at me a lot.

I love my kids, and I love being a dad.  But really, none of that is enough to want me to dig up the old blog I haven't posted on in two years.  (Sorry, Tessa!  I didn't even post that you were born on here, but... well, Facebook totally killed this blog.)  Really, what brought it up is thinking about how I celebrate my father.

My father died when I was 18 years old.  Astoundingly, that was 22 years ago.  I've spent more years missing him than I spent with him.  My kids saved Father's Day from being only about missing my dad.  It's kind of hard not to think about your dead dad at a time when you see ads about what to get dad for Father's Day and whether he'd want a new smartphone or an iPad or an HD TV or one of the many other awesome things my dad never even got to know would exist.

I wish he could know about all those things.  I wish he could know about how amazing my wife is and how miserable/happy/exhausted/elated my own kids make me.  I wish he could know what I made of my life.  It's not always the greatest, but I'm pretty proud of what I've accomplished, and I think he'd be damn proud of me.

This year might be harder for me than most years, because not only am I a father three times over, but a few weeks ago, my next door neighbor passed away.  He left behind his wife and two teenage boys.  I can imagine what they're going to go through tomorrow.  The first Father's Day without their father.  I can imagine it, because I've lived through it.  It sucks.  It really, really sucks.  And it never gets better, but it gets easier sometimes.  You keep yourself busy and you focus on the dads around you.  Grandfathers' or uncles or friends with new babies... BEING a dad is awesome.  Missing a dad is not.

So, tomorrow, on Father's Day, you might be having a cookout or brunch or a steak dinner or doing something special with your dad.   Or, you might not be with your dad, but give him a call or Skype with him or text him.  Whatever you do, let him know that you love the heck out of him, 'cause some of us don't get to do that and really wish we had the opportunity that you do.  Don't just go through the paces this time.  Even if your dad pisses you off, 'cause dads can do that some times.  Love him anyway and let him know, in whatever way works for your relationship, that he's important to you.

And for those of you who are missing your dad this Father's Day or any other day... well... you're not alone.