What a joy it is for me to be around so many great dads. Now you may think, why of course, Dad, your grandfathers, you guys all fill the bill. That is true. But growing up I saw many dads who were not and some spectacularly so. They were remote and alcoholic, or plain abusive. Some of my mother’s uncles were very mean to their children. Lucky for me my dad was just a wonderful man. You remember how Pa was. He joked with us, played with children, and helped any of us in the family. Pa was truly a shining example of a loving father and grandfather—those merry eyes, that deep belly laugh, the teasing words that did not hide his kind actions.
I could call him in the middle of night for help (and did on occasion) and he would be at our house. Not only did he work on our home, also he built furniture for all of us. I love my memory of coming home from work one day when you were a teenager and finding you and Pa in our family room installing bookcases that you worked on together. You were both lying on the floor kicking them in since the measurements to fit the wall were a bit tight! But as terrific as he was, he was not around much when I was growing up. He had to work two jobs, hard physical labor, and was on the couch resting when he came home.
When I married I wanted a partner who planned to be an active and involved parent. I made a good decision because your dad was and is every bit of that. As you and Mark were growing up he was there at all stages, even changing diapers and feeding babies at a time when men did not do that so much. Later he would organize various activities such as playing ball, planting a garden, going to Boy Scout camp, planning our family vacations. He is an involved granddad as well. We both take great pleasure in being part of our grandchildren’s life.
I have observed Mark’s parenting skills. He is also a very involved loving dad. He takes an active part in all of Noah’s many plans, building a tree house, creating a mountainous village around the Christmas train set, going camping with his kids. I see his special relationship with Zoe, baking and cooking with her, pushing her to try new adventures in hiking and skiing.
Also I have observed you and Patrick. It’s clear how much care and devotion your give your kids. There are games and fun as well as rules and homework. I have been on nature walks with your kids and have seen you challenge them to go biking or kayaking. One of my best memories is seeing you play in the pool with your kids. They love being in the pool with you and Patrick. One time when Dad and I took them on an overnight in a hotel with a pool I saw how sorely they missed you. We were not nearly as much fun.
Yes, I feel lucky to have all you dads in my life. And your kids are lucky too. Very lucky!! The love you dads show is encompassing. Pa would have been proud of you all. Though he might tease you those twinkling eyes would shine!
Happy Fathers’ Day!