It’s Father’s Day.
That’s more than just a statement, it’s an intentional drawing of attention! I’ve always felt a little uneasy seeing that in our culture Mother’s Day gets all the hype and hooplah, while Father’s Day slides past under-advertised. I don’t know exactly why that is. Is it just that Mother’s Day comes first and steals the spotlight? Is it easier for advertisers to make a montage of “mom moments”? Is it representative of our poor relationships with our fathers?
I don’t know. But I want to celebrate Father’s Day as well because I am oh so thankful for both of my parents.
I am thankful that I have a dad who was home, present and intentional. I am thankful that my dad thought that playing with me was a great pastime. He often talks about looking at me in awe as an infant as I discovered my hands or learned how to roll over. He continues, “And then you smiled, and I thought it doesn’t get any better than this. And then you walked, and I thought how cool! And then you talked. That was when it really got fun because I got to hear what you thought about. You were the coolest toy ever because you grew up.”
I am thankful that my dad talked, really talked, with me and prepared me for what was to come. We ran “mental simulations” on the way to school. They started out simple, “Pretend that you are at school and another kid steals the ball you’ve been playing with, what would you do?” He’d ask. The questions grew up with me as well extending into bullying, peer pressure, and professions.
I am thankful that my dad taught me — and continues to remind me — of the importance of balance in all of life. He is unique in that he can both roughhouse and cry with equal familiarity. He can be strong and logical and process though facts and also express emotions without regret. In a world brimming with emotionally-stifled and relationally-distant people, I am thankful that my dad is both a poet and warrior.
I am thankful for these and a thousand other fun memories and excellent fatherly attributes. I am thankful that my dad showed and told me how valuable I am and how I should be treated. I am thankful and eager to celebrate my dad today.
And, even as my eyes are already misting from writing this, I would be remiss not to share a movie moment that can always make both my dad and me cry. Have the tissues handy, this just might be the best cinematic scene of all time.