Father, Dad, Daddy, Poppy, Grampa.
This is the big weekend when sons and daughters wish the Old Guy a happy day, and it’s a day when wives honor the man who gave her her children. For some of these guys fatherhood is a surprise, others assume it will happen but aren’t interested in participation, while others helped plan it. Though there’s no Father’s Guide distributed at hospital checkout, at least the men in our immediate family have done
and are doing a good job. Most dads don’t sit down with the sons and spell it out either. It’s literally a hands-on experience every time that feels like it’s being made up as they go along. Little do dads realize they really are passing a baton and may not live to see the results of their influence in subsequent generations. Sometimes the grampas get to give their sons advice, but mostly they’re enjoying the ride.
Where did these dads come from? How many generations do dads look back on this day reserved just for them? How many generations forward do they dream?
Right now I want to say thanks to my dad and the dad he talked about so fondly. As I look at the family tree, I imagine all those fathers advising, teaching, smiling, and reluctantly bidding so long, trusting and hoping that they’ve been a worthy example as time relentlessly marches on.
I want to say thank you to my Honey who has willingly and reluctantly hung in there through multiple Father-Daughter and Father-Son banquets that all look and sound alike. Thanks for travelling in all kinds of weather to the in-laws, trying to sleep while the trains roared by in the middle of the night. Thanks for cleaning recycled suppers off the carpet, changing diapers, going to concerts and games, holding the camera at parades, putting on the tie on hot Sunday mornings rather than fishing so the kids would follow in your footsteps, for giving up your wants for the kids’ needs like dads before and dads to come.
You were there for the glad times and sad times, the fun, the tears, the losses, the gains. You’re still here for me and for your children and your children’s children. You’ve stuck with it through happy, sad, stable, and rough times making them everything from easy to educational.
“Let’s call Poppy on the radio for his birthday! CQ, Poppy, CQ, Poppy…”
“Are you enjoying this great weather, Russ?”
“Look at my kids.”
(Yes, Julie, yes, Chip, you are on Dad’s List of kids)
“Father in heaven, I want to be a good grandfather to this precious little addition to my family.”
“Done deal, my child.”