Father's day is about appreciation for the guy that takes out the trash and kills bugs. You get a Spiderman Father's day card because let's face it, those are still cool. And in my house, you get a cake that was decorated by the children which means tons and tons of glitter. Always with the glitter. The family shows how much they love you and how much you mean to them.
But for fathers, Father's day it means something different. This is what I have come to understand now that I am a dad myself. For the family, it's about love.
For dad though, it's about hope.
You hope that he will catch the flyball because you spent so many hours showing him how. You hope he gets the good grade because you made him do his homework. You hope that one day he will tie his own shoe and run up to you with pride in his eyes. You hope that he beats you in chess one day, just like you did to your dad, and you can look down at him with pride in your eyes.
You hope that one day he will know why you have to be hard sometimes and you hope that he knows why you had to be soft sometimes. You hope that he will understand that the things that father's sometimes have to do are not pleasant and not easy. You hope that you have the strength to protect him but know enough to realize that sometimes you must let him fall. You hope that when he does fall that you can teach him how to stand up, admire his bruise, and keep going.
You hope that you have the courage to let him make his own mistakes, little by little, as much as it may kill us inside to watch it. You hope that through life's trails and difficulties, he knows that you are the rock in his world, the guy always in his corner and the one always rooting for him.
You hope that you will be half the man your own father may have been. You hope that you can be the icon that your own father was to you. You hope that your own son can look at you and be in awe just because you are dad. You hope and you hope and you hope.
Hope, it is the driving force of fatherhood.
You hope that he does't grow up hating you. You hope that you challenged him just enough to give him the confidence he will need but didn't push him so hard that that confidence is shattered to early. You hope that he takes the straight path and you hope that you have taught him how. And if not, you hope that you can show him the way back. You hope that you have shown him how a man acts, behaves and lives up to his responsibilities. You hope that you have given him all the tools he will need to face the world and all it's dangers and possibilities.
You hope to god that you don't mess this up because you have discovered that being a father is the hardest but yet the most important thing you will ever do with your life. You hope that one day he can look back on his childhood and realize how important he is to you. You hope that he knows that you love him.
You hope that you don't disappoint him. So much time is spent with sons trying not to disappoint their fathers. I have found that on the other side of that equation is a father trying just as hard not to disappoint his son. You hope that one day he will know that himself.
You hope that you were there when it mattered and that you were there when it didn't. You hope that one day you can look at him and realize that you did something right, even if you can't figure out exactly what that was. You hope that one day he will look at you and know that you did something right, even though he doesn't know what it was.
And you hope that you will get more sleep, that you won't always be standing in his room watching him sleep with his favorite truck. But not for a while on that one. No. For now, you hope that this lasts a little bit longer. Just a touch longer.
Happy Father's Day son.