“Dad, you’re someone to look up to no matter how tall I’ve grown.” ~Author Unknown
The sun is setting on this perfect fathers day. I’ve been a Father now for 5 years. I try real hard to be a good one. I get mad sometimes when I shouldn’t and often don’t discipline when I should (“Dad, pull my finger.” “Uhh..no son … uhh..sure! LOL”) As my father always said “You didn’t come out of the womb with an instruction manual tied around your foot.” Darn tootin’ about that one. I think I’m doing okay though.
When I woke up this morning, I was wearing the first shirt that Luke had ever picked out for me. It was my “I’m the bomb!” Angry Birds T-shirt and he had to give it to me early on Saturday. When he saw me this morning he looked up at me, smiled, and said “Hey Dad! Happy Father’s day! You’re the bomb!” It was a cool moment. I realized then, as I do now while typing this, that my 5 year old is getting older. How many more of those cool moments do I have left? I think I’ll savor it for later by writing it here, so many years down the road, I can pull it up and smile about it again.
Have any of you been geocaching yet? From the website: Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online. My father introduced it to me several weeks ago and got me hooked on it immediately. Our plan today was to wake up (I was visiting my parents in NJ) and head out to find “treasures”. After my moment with the kids, my father and I took off on our adventure.
Parents live in New Jersey and I live in Maryland.
I moved away from my parents house when I was 21. Not because I disliked them or had some broken home but because opportunity called in Maryland. I try to see them at least once a month but it’s hard. I often times miss my Dad. (Of course Mom too) We aren’t the kinds of guys who’ll say “I love you” to each other but I sure know he does…I hope he knows I do too. We were the masters of our domain today and the distance we normally feel wasn’t there. We were father and son and you know what? He still had some tricks up his sleeve for me.
I’m 37 years old. For most of the morning today, I felt like I was 10 again. Dad and I were out playing treasure hunt. We crawled through bushes, ran through brambles, bushwhacked into the forest, climbed over logs, pulled ticks off of our legs, shouted cuss words when we couldn’t find the “treasure”, and jumped for joy when we did. It was a picture perfect day. I got to hear him, at our breakfast diner stop, rehash the tale from his youth about working on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. I’ve heard it many times before but there’s no denying the pleasure he gets when he relives it. I appreciated Flo and Barbara for listening to it. (and for the fast service)
He reminded me how much we’re alike. Our voracious appetite for history is equal and we spent a good deal of time chatting about it and allowing the historical park we were wandering around in tell us its tale. When we enjoy something, we can become extremely passionate about it. Like our geocaching today…we only stopped because I had to head back to Maryland; if not we’d still be out there. Right now we’re both sore, our legs are cut to pieces and we’re still not sure if some spots are a mole or a tick but we conquered the forests and connected again today. We don’t get to do that too often and it felt wonderful.
So Dad…thank you. Thanks for being you and being the best Dad you can be…without the instructions. Even now that you’ve passed the “raising the son” torch on to me, you continue to inspire and teach. You probably didn’t realize it. That’s okay. I’ll be sure to pass those same lessons and inspirations to my son and daughter and mention you when I do. Thanks for a great day today Dad. I love you.