Reflections on Father’s Day

I’m still not used to the idea that I am a dad. It’s been over two years now, but it still hasn’t completely entered my mind that this day includes me. I still think about my own Dad.

We are much alike, the two of us. I get a lot of my humor from my dad. A can trace the roots of much of my personality to him, although my mom’s influence can also be strongly felt.

When I think about my dad, I think of sacrifice and I think of love.

If someone met my dad they would either meet a silly man, who likes dirty jokes and loves the outdoors or they could meet a man with a somewhat cranky mood and a grumbly temperament. Because those are both part of who he is.

In a post about how much this man means to me, it might seem odd to bring up how he could get cranky, or that he would sometimes get annoyed over little things. He is a big man, and since he has done a lot of work outside around loud machines, he can also use a voice bigger than he intends. Just to be clear, I might have felt intimidated by him growing up, but I never felt fear. Violence at home was never something I had to worry about.

Why am I bringing up this crankiness? Because, although he needed to vent his feeling about some little things on occasion, there was never any doubt about my dad being there for the big things, the things that were important to me.

In the fifth grade we moved from Florida to Georgia. Because of both work and housing, it was about two years where my Dad lived away from us. However, almost every weekend of that two years, he would get off work on Friday, drive the 4+ hours to spend the weekend with me, my mother and brother. Sunday night, he would stay as late as he could, and then he would drive the 4+ hours back to Florida.

I can’t imagine how exhausting that must have been. But I can’t recall my Dad complaining about the trip. Well, at least no more than any other car trip. He would put in his long week of work, travel at least nine hours round trip, just to spend less than 48 hours with his family. I think back to that time and I think of times playing touch football in the yard.

I remember in high school, before I could drive. I loved the theatre and being in plays. Mom and dad took turns picking me up from school. We lived on the other side of town, and almost nobody lived near enough to give us a ride.

I did four plays my first two years of high school. My dad was at every single performance. After the show, he’d wait for me to be ready to leave. I’m sure there were times he pressured me to hurry up. What parent wants to spend the night hanging around at their kid’s high school after work? But, rather than his telling me to hurry up, I remember the many more times he just waited, letting me enjoy the experience and the friends. He’d sacrifice his time

If you watch TV, the story you’ve likely been taught is that the football playing dad is the one who resents his son, especially a son, wanting to do something like drama. The dad gets angry at the silly costumes and especially at things like learning to apply makeup, so what if its for the stage.

Not my dad. Sure, he played football, through out high school and college. He supported me when I played in junior high. And then he gave me the same amount of support when I decided I wanted to get into drama. Now, this isn’t a sacrifice he made, outside of the time he used to make sure I could participate. But it is support. And it is love.

On Father’s Day, I don’t quite yet feel like a dad. I’m too busy feeling thankful for all i’ve received from my own father.

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