Yesterday will probably be the first Father’s Day I remember as a father (can we call it Dad’s Day? “father” makes me feel old). This year, my boy is almost two, so he’s much more interactive than he was on my first official Father’s Day. I spent a long weekend in Seattle with my wife and son, visiting her family for a bit of a mid-year family get together (her folks live out of state). We had a great time, including a trip to Woodland Park Zoo, an awesome patio BBQ, a great breakfast, and cards and gifts.
And then my son gave me an extra gift on Sunday that I’ll definitely be re-gifting.
Circumstances led my wife and I to drive separate cars back to the Tri-Cities, and I got to take my boy with me. Having him as a captive audience is a great thing: he doesn’t have anything to focus on but me! I talked, he babbled. I said numbers and letters and one-syllable words, and he said sounds that may or may not have resembled anything I said. He laughed at my jokes. He danced in his seat to my stupid music, and even clapped when I stopped singing along. For about an hour, he took a nap, and every now and then I’d look back and see him so peaceful and unaware of me… and I’d think about what a fantastically stressful and amazing responsibility I have, and he has no idea. Then I realized that when I was a kid, I had no idea either. Of course I didn’t. I probably still don’t.
The gift my son gave me is that interacting with him makes me come closer to understanding what it meant for my dad to do what he did. And I’m still very new at this. I can only imagine the gifts my boy(s) will give me in the future. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to express the extent of my gratitude to my own dad, but nonetheless, it’s there. If my dad were to read this, I’d hope he knows that I’m doing the best that I can to do the same for my kid(s).
I hope my son will understand why I’m be re-gifting what he gave me.
Oh, and Dad? THANK YOU!
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