David graduated preschool last week. As the children were called to receive their diplomas, the teacher announced what each one had said they wanted to be when they grew up. There were the expected firemen, doctors, and teachers; a surprising number of fishermen; and a professional angry birds player. As I waited for David to be called, I had no clue what he would say. Maybe a pilot like his grandpa or Spiderman. Definitely not a accountant or anything else that requires quiet concentration.
“Our next graduate is David,” Miss Tree said into the microphone. “When David grows up, he wants to be a dad.” The resounding aahs of the audience echoed my own internal aah, and caused David to grin self-consciously as he accepted his diploma and ran back to his spot in line. After the ceremony, I found David and said, “that is really nice that you want to be a dad when you grow up.”
“No, I want to grow up to be my dad,” he clarified. And there is a big difference between being just any dad and being the kind of dad that David has.
He’s the kind of dad who comes home from work and puts a Boppy pillow on his head and pretends to be the Incredible Hulk because it’s more important to him to play with you than to relax on the couch.
He’s the kind of dad who sits and teaches you how to put together your Lego spaceship instead of just doing it for you. He his patient and encouraging, never letting you give up on yourself, helping you discover everything you are capable of.
He’s the kind of dad who gives up the last bowl of rice, who swims with you in the pool till his hands are pruned even though he knows the water is mostly kid pee, and who doesn’t complain when the baby throws up all over him in an airport and his extra clothes are in the checked bag.
He’s the kind of dad who gives everything he has to his family and never asks for anything in return
I don’t worry about the kind of men my sons will turn out to be because I know they have a true role model in their dad. He is smart, moral, patient, compassionate, and deeply good.
Happy Father’s Day honey, we love you.