Father’s Day

boothHow do you convey what it is to feel pride in your child? It makes one’s own accomplishments pale. Because it is your doing — and so much more.
It is the sum of the love and work you put in over the years, the lost sleep, the dilemmas, the improvisation, the fear that your own failings would leave scars. And it is a second chance at your own life, a do-over that lets you rewrite the decisions you came to regret. It is the high road.
But of course it’s not so simple. A child is not a puppet to toe a well-laid plan. Every child has her own intentions, his own hopes and flaws. And yet when things turn out well, when they amaze, there is no height more exhilarating.
I grew up without a dad and had to write my own handbook. And becoming a father was a scary business at the start. Every setback seemed so high stakes, so unutterably bleak. But I was fortunate to have a boy who rarely disappointed or scared us. Quite the contrary. And now I feel him pass me on the track, surging ahead to make his own brighter mark. For what more could I hope?
Being a father is a dance — step forward, step back; lead, follow; hold, then let go. You are investing your all in a person who is destined to fly away and then (you pray) to return.
And the stakes of that dance are so high. Of all the jobs you can fail at, none is more significant than being a parent. And we all fail. How we dance back from that brink is a test of our mettle and our ultimate effect on the world to come.
When your child is suffering or lost, there is no deeper fear or sharper pain. ‘Take me instead,’ you inevitably say. Because only parenthood reveals the awesome power of unconditional love, of how much even your feeble heart is capable of.

Another human that makes us more so.

13 thoughts on “Father’s Day

  1. Happy fathers’ day as well. Having raised two fine boys, Eagle Scouts, college graduates and successful business men. I now pass the torch to a new generation. Both are father’s as well.

  2. Oh, such true words. I never realized I could love someone so much before I had my girls. Happy Father’s Day, Danny.

  3. Happy Father’s Day Danny! 😊 lovely writing as always!

    Reminded me so much of my dad! How he never wants anything to go wrong with me but eventually let’s me make my decisions. How he feels saddened when I’m lost and how he tries to boost me up ( and always succeeds! ) How he misses me now when I’m in a different continent far away from him.. Oh I miss him so much myself!

    And your pictures are the cutest! 😊
    Thanks for sharing!

    Payal

  4. Wow! You absolutely nailed it! I KNOW that my Father experienced each and every feeling you spoke of. He puffed with pride at my success and happiness, and his heart broke with each disappointment, failure and heartache. He taught me that I was “peaches and cream”…yet not everyone likes peaches and cream”…and that was okay! He taught me to be kind and look for the good, not only in people, but in every situation…

    My Dear Dad passed away this year, and for me this is a hard Father’s Day. I still reach for the phone to call him each day. So, Happy Father’s Day to you! You have done a remarkable job!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your life with us!

    Cori

  5. So many of us have grown up without good fathers, or without fathers at all. It’s so wonderful to hear that you chose to write your own handbook and be a loving father. Love is what keeps us from failing as parents. Loving your child is the bright gift of fatherhood. Thanks for sharing your eloquent thoughts.

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