By Ken DeLaat
It’s been more than a couple of decades since I’ve wished my Dad a Happy Father’s Day. He was my lifetime idol and a true mentor in many ways and I miss him every day.
It’s been close to four decades since my LSC Lil gave birth to our first child an event that bestowed the title of Dad onto me and allowed for inclusion into the expansive group honored on the third Sunday each June.
14 years ago our son became a Dad on the eve of Father’s Day and a few years later they had their third child on the day itself.
Father’s Day. A day when Dads get honored with a whole gamut of gifts from bad ties to golf dates with their kids to phone calls and visits from their progeny.
Ok, it doesn’t have the same pizazz as Mother’s Day and believe me floral shops don’t do near the business done during the Mid May Mom celebration. In fact it wasn’t even officially recognized until 1972 as a national holiday nearly 60 years after Mother’s Day was so named.
But being Dad is something special indeed because though there may be many out there who claim the title because of genetics, being a Dad is more than one’s presence during the creation of the child.
It’s being around for school activities, sports, band concerts and the slew of stuff that come with the role. It’s hanging in when things get crazy, providing guidance when necessary and silent listening when you want to give advice. It’s honoring the child’s mother whether you’re still in the relationship or not. It;’s turning off sports and tuning in Curious George or Mickey Mouse.
It’s changing diapers, missing work when they’re ill and being resourceful when there’s a runny nose and no handkerchief available.
It’s messy and time consuming and yes even expensive.
But it is so worth it.
And of all the things I might have done differently in my life given the infinite wisdom the present gives us over our past decisions?
Having children never registers as one of them.
So to honor Dads here are a series of quotes by those whose words far outshine any I might provide on this day.
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” -Jim Valvano
“The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to respect the woman that gave birth to his children. It is because of her that you have the greatest treasures in your life. You may have moved on, but your children have not. If you can’t be her soulmate, then at least be thoughtful.”- Shannon Adler
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” Umberto Eco
“There is nothing that moves a loving father's soul quite like his child's cry.”-Jodi Eareckson Tada
“My Father used to play with my brother and I in the yard. Mother would come out and say ‘You’re tearing up the grass’. ‘We’re not raising grass,’ my father would reply. We’re raising boys.”- Harmon Killebrew
“He didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”-Clarence Buddington Kelland
“It is much easier to become a father than to be one.”-Kent Nerburn
“Being a good father is like shaving. No matter how well you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow.”-Reed Markham
"There are three stages in a man’s life,. He believes in Santa Claus, he doesn’t believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.”-Unknown
“Be a Dad. Don’t be ‘Mom's Assistant’....Be a man….Fathers have skills that they never use at home. You run a landscaping business and you can’t feed and dress a four year old? Take it on. Spend time with your kids...It doesn’t take away your manhood, it will give it to you.” - Louis C.K.
And my personal favorite:
“When I was a boy of fourteen my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty one I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”-Mark Twain
Here’s to all the Father’s out there who know what it’s like to be a Dad.
Keep up the good work.
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