A Special Father’s Day
So, did you miss me? I know I haven’t written for a little while. Little things like a wedding, dance competitions, carving out new adventures, all seemed to have gotten in the way of my ramblings. Don’t fret though, I’m back.
I thought Father’s Day weekend was a great time to jump back into this blog thing. For me it’s a great time for reflection and introspection. So many great things have been happening lately and it really occurred to me how much I miss my dad. I vacillate between the joy and accomplishments of my beautiful daughters and the lack of opportunity to share them with my dad. A Father’s day conundrum.
My oldest daughter Ashley got married last month and while as the saying goes “you didn’t lose a daughter, you gained a son”, I somehow felt my little girl slipping through my fingers. “She will always be daddy’s little girl” wasn’t working really well for me either. I quietly struggled with the admission that she had grown up and that she was more than ready to carve out a new life of her own filled with joy, happiness and success.
I had to come to grips that being a dad now meant that my role, should there ever be a need for sage old advice or comfort for any heartache was to just offer a sympathetic ear or a selection of profound wisdom when called upon. I got that, but I couldn’t let go of a quote that I read years ago. I never could find the author who was attributed with saying it, but he simply said “a daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart”.
I come from a family where the men often had a difficult time holding their tears in. My grandfather cried. My dad cried. Not just at funerals or somber occasions, but at sad movies, winning touchdowns, overtime, and little kids birthday parties. . I cry at spilled milk, which really is pretty funny because I’m lactose intolerant.
I missed my dad as I walked my princess down the aisle. I wanted to cry and share with him in all of the bittersweet moments, but of course, I couldn’t. And for some strange reason I couldn’t cry.
That is not to suggest for one moment that I was not overcome with emotion, because of course I was. It was one of the most memorable and happiest days of my life. I had just made some bizarre fundamental commitment that I was going to hold my emotions in check. My kids wondered what was wrong. Why wasn’t dad crying?
Maybe a higher power was at work. A hand on my shoulder letting me know that I needed to be strong for the both of us. No meltdowns allowed.
I missed my dad him when my younger daughter Alexa took third place with her solo in a regional dance competition, performing it for only the second time on stage. She was awesome. I never saw her dance like that before. Her stage presence, her emotion, her technique was incredible.
I looked at my wife who was wiping away tears. I looked at Ashley whose tears were flowing the minute Alexa walked out on stage. I was stoic. Just didn’t cry. Maybe my father was there with me once again with his calming hand on my shoulder sharing in the great deal of pride we both felt.
With each movement I was memorized. This was my kid on stage. Commanding the attention of the audience and the judges who were going to critique her performance. I got goose bumps. I could feel my pride bubbling over, but I refused to cry.
Why couldn’t my dad be there to see this? He would have loved to watch her performance.
Some may say that Father’s Day like Mother’s Day, Valentines and Sweetest Days are Hallmark holidays and for some that may be true. But for some like me, it is a great day to ponder days of past present and future.
Yes, I really do miss my dad. I miss sharing and laughing. I miss ball games and bowling. I even miss lectures and an occasional spanking. But this weekend, I’m going to celebrate the memories we shared. I’m going to commit myself to laughing and maybe sharing a tear or two.
As far as my own two precious daughters, I am going to revel in their successes. I’m going to gloat, celebrate and shout out my enthusiasm about their victories, and I don’t care if I embarrass them. I know in time they will forgive me.
Since I hope you all have an awesome Father’s day weekend. Let me help you to solve the Father’s day conundrum. First remember that a great dad fills his wallet with pictures where the money used to be.
Secondly, take the time to remember what you valued most about your father and celebrate the days of joy and memories. Grab your kids and give them a big hug and kiss and tell them how proud you are of what they have made out of their lives and that being their dad is one of the greatest joys in your life. It’s even okay to shed a few tears.
Thank you dad for teaching me what it means to be a great father, Happy Father’s Day dad.