Saturday, June 16, 2007

Father's Day

I have three fathers...how many do you have?

No, of course I wasn't conceived by three different men. But I have had three different men in my life act as my father. But not in the way you think...

I listen to the radio a lot. I wake up to Bob and Sheri. I listen to the radio while I'm doing dishes and when I'm driving in town (if I'm not listening to the latest VBS CD or XMRadio, that is). One thing I noticed is that everyone spent Friday talking about their father's and the specialness of them.

Bob and Sheri are my cup of tea. Sheri described her parents as this: "My mom and dad were chain smokers. One day, my dad said that we were going to have to cut some corners to save some money. I looked at him and said that maybe we could stop buying so many cigarettes. He took a long drag off of his cigarette and looked at me as he exhaled and said "And maybe we could stop buying so much food and feeding you."

Okay, so this is bleak. Sheri will be the first to tell you that she came from a dysfunctional family. I like to say that, at times, if my family wasn't dysfunctional, it wouldn't function at all. Now, of course this isn't going to be a parent bashing post. I'm just pointing out that, if we were all honest with ourselves, very few us have no dysfunction in our families. I think families and dysfunction are synonymous.

So, maybe I went off a bit of tangent. If you knew my family history, you'd understand why. But let's bring this back to the subject at hand: fathers.

Since I have three (or have had three), you can imagine that I have learned quite a bit from each one. Not all of them have shown me good things. Some showed me what I don't want in a man, if nothing else. All have shown me love in their own way, however. And while fathers are awesome -- strong, intelligent, leaders -- they are human. I have three, very human fathers. But I love them each in a special way.

Now, my own husband as a father. I was concerned. But it seems that in these past few years that he has gotten along a lot better with our son. (Of course, it's important to point out here that there are times they don't get along because they are so much alike! This would be when I put on my referee hat.) But lately...it's been good.

Take for example a moment from yesterday. I will log this away in my memory as a day no amount of money could buy.

Yesterday, we had grilled burgers. (I had gotten DH a grill for Father's Day, assembled it myself -- thank you very much -- and given it to him as an early gift). Our son stuck to DH like glue last night and DH went with it. DS learned why we stack the briquettes in a pyramid as well as why the coals get ash white. Of course our son was really eating up the individual attention. (We grilled out again tonight, this time chicken, and both the kids were out there gleaning information from Daddy). It was so wonderful to see this interaction between my son and my husband. I love that they interact like this because, let's be honest, there are things out there that I could never teach our son in the same way that my husband could. Men provide that element of...well, manliness. I would over explain it, over emotionalize it, or over whelm it if I were to discuss it. Things like BBQ is definitely better left to the Daddies.

I hope my son won't forget these little moments with his dad. (With me, too...but we're around each other all time...time with Daddy is that much more special). I also hope he has a thousand more of these little moments where long after his father and I are gone, he will turn to his children (or his grandchildren) and explain how his daddy was. These are the moments that can't be bought or planned. They happen naturally and I suspect that neither my son or my husband gave last night a moment's thought. But I did. And I hope they will hold it in their hearts just as I have held it in mine.