Today is Father’s Day, and somehow, even with one real-life, two-year-old daughter and a son that’s on the way, I don’t really feel like this is my day.
My dad is a “father.” He’s got a white mustache and tortoise-shell bifocals. He’s the guy who planned all our trips to the beach, back before there were such things as GPSs and cellphones. I can remember pulling off on the side of the road and watching my dad dig around in the glove box for an honest-to-God map. Once unfolded, it eclipsed our van’s entire front windshield. Dad would squint and trace the highways with his thumb, then fold the map back up, and off we’d go.
In other words, my dad knew the way.
And me, well, I was just riding along in the backseat, probably reading a book and listening to a CD on my portable Walkman (remember those?).
So much of the man I am today is still that little boy in the backseat, nose buried in some faraway tale, my mind forever adrift in the clouds. Lucky for me, I married a woman who’s a lot like my dad. She’s sensible and good with directions, a beacon of light that guides my way.
And this beautiful, logical woman made me a daddy. I’m not sure I’m worthy of the term “father” just yet, but she gave me a beautiful daughter that looks just like her (thank goodness) but acts a lot like me.
My daughter’s imagination soars. She dances and sings. She absolutely hates to wear clothes. And at her core, she’s a dreamer, just like I was, just like I am.
I like to get up most mornings before the sun rises, before anyone else is awake, and chase my dreams. I try hard to put words to the truths in my heart. I try so hard that sometimes I get lost. Sometimes I forget about my girls.
It’s weird, but I truly lose sight of my toddler asleep in the crib next door. I’ll even forget my snoozing wife, the woman who’s shown me the way for so long now I know I’d be lost without her.
My forgetfulness never lasts long, though. It can’t. Because by the time seven o’clock rolls around, and I start to hear “Daddy. Da-dee!” blaring out of the baby monitor, along with my wife’s sleepy steps stirring down the hall — I am reminded of my world’s greatest truth.
I am theirs.
And that’s enough. If the stories I go searching for in the early-morning hours never amount to anything more than scribbles on a page, I will still have them, and for that I am thankful.
I’m thankful for my girls (and the boy that is to come) because they’ve shown me the way. They’ve pulled my head out of the clouds and grounded me, forever, in the here and now. More than anything, they’ve turned this wide-eyed boy into something all men should aspire to be — a daddy.
Thank you, girls, for everything.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.