Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day: I Come From A Long, Squiggly, Awesome Line of Love

I've been a son for 50 something years, a stepson for 36 and a father for 24.  So I consider myself a virtual virtuoso in fatherology, wikkid experienced in the ways of got yer nose, pull my finger and hold my beer.

Yes, Father's Day is a Hallmark Holiday and we do not need some artificial date to appreciate our Dads.  But you have to admit, it helps. 

For whatever reason whatever your higher being has, I have been flooded with lessons and reminders of what it means to be a FATHER this week.  From Jimmy's birthday beer with Grampy to sharing stories about my stepdad Peder with my stepcousin Bigfoot at Laconia to looking at pictures of Kim's dad Butch on our wedding day to crying tears of joy with Kim after getting great news from Chris, this has been a father kind of week!!

But best of all, on Wednesday, I am flying down to Pittsburgh to visit with my Dad and then drive him and Laurette back to New England for Katie's wedding.  I am so looking forward to spending 4 straight days with the man who has handed down to me a long line of love that has defined me and that continues to define my two kids.  Oh sure, our line of love is not very straight... it has a few bends and branches, a break here and there... but it is long!!  Yes, dads teach us how to make armpit farts, how to make ketchup smiley faces on boloney and how to drive a stick.  But my Dad also taught me the importance of family and what it means to love those people closest to me.  And from that, I truly believe all good things come.  

Today, Jessica, my "baby" girl, turns 23.  Chris will be 25 in December.  They say that watching your children succeed in life does a parent proud.  That my friends is an understatement.  In August of 2012, both Chris and Jess moved away to school.  Just like that, our house was big and empty.  We were not sure how they would adjust, if they would adjust or what the future would hold.  Let's just say, they adjusted perfectly well.... so well that they did not really come home at all those first few months.  In a way, it was heartbreaking!  Don't they miss us?  Do they hate it at home?  Why do they like being at school better than being at home.  Did we do something wrong?  Were we bad parents? But the reality was this:  We were doing it right!  As a parent, from the moment your children are born, your job is to prepare them to NOT NEED YOU.  I don't mean that in an emotional sense... we ALWAYS need our parents.  But we were readying them for life on their own.  And it was working. 

There really are no words that can describe that feeling you get when you see your children grab hold of their own paths in life and just run with it!  In the past two weeks alone, both of my kids have taken HUGE steps toward their career and life goals.  Jess was promoted to being a lead therapist and accepted into grad school.  Chris just keeps inching toward becoming a police officer.  And it just moves me to tears when, through their own hard work and determination, they actually grab the stars for which they are reaching!!

This is what being a Dad is all about... And I'll see you Wednesday Dad!!

Always look back to see from where you've come!

Also, a very Happy Father's Day in heaven to these two men!!

Peder... thank you for everything you did for all of us. 
BTW, I still cannot teach Chris how to tie a friggin' tie.  Don't know how you did it.

Butch... Thank you for giving me her hand 25 years ago!

I cannot listen to this song without choking up... despite our scattered family tree, the sentiment describes EXACTLY how I was raised, from my grandparents on down!!

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