“When you’re young, you think your dad is Superman. Then you grow up, and you realize he’s just a regular guy who wears a cape.” – Dave Attell
I am a Dad. I am also a son, a brother and a husband but it is the job of Dad that I love the most (sorry mom, sisters and wife). I didn’t have sons, I have daughters, two to be exact. My wife wanted more than two children. I was good with what we got primarily because I didn’t want to be the father of three or four daughters. Honestly even if I had been guaranteed a son I am still okay with the two girls I was blessed with.
I became a father at 30 so my oldest will soon be 27 and my baby is 25. If I knew what I know now I wouldn’t have waited until I was 30 but one or two years wouldn’t have made that big of difference. It probably would have given my wife more ammunition to have another one.
A guy I know has five daughters because his wife desperately wanted a son. After the fifth one Jim “secretly” had a vasectomy. At least that is what he claims. Over beers one evening he was complaining about the cost of dance lessons, volleyball, horseback riding, etc. and one of the guys said “You know Jim you could have told her you had a headache once in a while. It certainly works at my house.” He was referring to his wife if you missed it.
When I look back on my father job I think I was or am “built” for the job of being a Dad to daughters rather sons. I can’t really explain it. It is just the way I feel about myself. Sure, there are probably interest that Dads and sons share that Dads and daughters don’t. There are certainly things that go on with daughters that Dads don’t want any part of and don’t want to be included in the conversation about. As my wife would tell me “You don’t want to know.”
But my girls did stuff with me. We played basketball in the backyard, threw a softball around. Both went camping with me. One of them like to build stuff and both always uttered my favorite words that I love to hear, even today “Hey can you help me with something.” Even with husbands and boyfriends around, old dad still knows a thing or two about this or that and no matter how silly or simple it might be they know I am just a phone call or text away to walk them through it. I live for those moments, those very simple moments.
I celebrated father’s day without seeing any of the reasons I am a father. I got a phone call from one, a text from the other and a gift card from their mother acting as their proxy. They are busy with their own lives, lives that I helped create. Lives that I worried about, prayed over, yelled at, comforted, hugged and shed a tear or ten on occasion. I miss seeing them. Part of me yearns for the days when they were little but I don’t dwell on the past. My job was to get them where they are today. To teach them, love them, help them succeed and catch them when they failed. If you knew them, you would know, that I did a pretty damn good job.
I haven’t gotten a certificate of appreciation or a plaque to hang on the wall for the father job. There won’t be any articles in the paper about me. It isn’t a job that puts any money in your bank account and the only promotion I can think of that might be available in the future is the position of granddad. But even without all the trappings that our society looks for to deem someone a success being a father has been and will always be the best and most rewarding job I have ever had. It is a hard job sometimes, but one that I am very thankful for.
To all the father’s out there, the young and the old, I hope your Father’s Day was filled with love, hugs, kisses and pride. It is by far the best job in the world. Savor every moment. The father job.
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain