Just the other day, I enjoyed a casual conversation with a friend of mine as he reflected briefly on the subject of fatherhood. He said (something to the effect of)...you know, before you have kids, you think one day they will grow up and that will be the end of it. But no, it ain't that way at all. Once you become a parent, you're a parent forever and your kids will always be your kids, no matter how old they get. Now, I am not a parent, but I have grown to understand this to be true. And as a daughter, I know that, no matter how old and independent they get, your kids will always need their parents.
Today is Father's Day and true to form, I find myself belated, still contemplating what to give this special man to commemorate his special day. It's the same way every year. My dad's a bit of a cliche that way, "the man who has everything". He wants for nothing, as far as material things go. And if he does, he goes ahead and buys it for himself. So what do you give a guy who has everything?
As I was growing up, my mom and dad, they gave me everything. It wasn't always new, often times handmade and sometimes second-hand, but I had everything I wanted. And that's sayin' something, coming from a family of nine kids...NINE! Can you even imagine?! This day and age, providing for a family that size would be quite an amazing feat, I think. But my dad, he always gave me what I needed. He taught me how to ride a bike and drive a car. He gave me beautiful places to hike and swim and camp...he gave me unlimited opportunities to learn to love nature. I always had a pair of skies, snowshoes, a boat on the lake and some activity in which to partake that was especially adventurous and fun. Those things are still very much a part of who I am and what I love to do. But more importantly, my dad taught me to work hard, to be responsible, independent and make my own way in this big, wide world. And he provided a safety net in which to do it. Those things...those are the greatest gifts my daddy ever gave to me.
So, what do you get "a guy who has everything"? Well, I do believe that every dad just wants to know that his kids are HAPPY. I know this is true because my own dad so often expresses to me his pride and joy in seeing the person I have grown to be. He often tells me that the greatest gift is knowing that I am happy doing what I love and simply being me. And that is the best gift I can think of to give this special man who literally brought me into this world. Thank you, Dad, for being you. Thank you for growing me and helping me learn to be happy, to seek solace in what I love to do and enjoy this adventure called Life. To you and to all those amazing dads out there...Happy Father's Day :)