For the past quarter century, waking up on the third Sunday in June has been a reminder of my status as a father. From the moment my daughter was born, I knew she would change my life in every conceivable way. Along the way, these twenty-five Fathers’ Days, there have been moments of joy and celebration, times of consternation, and occasional periods of relative calm, but for the first time in quite a while, my darling daughter has succeeded in taking my breath away. Fishing outings, horseback riding, Halloween in a little tiger suit at three-years-old, and any number of other occasions are some of the decorations in my mind on Fathers’ Day. This year, I think we’ve attained a new pinnacle.
Friday, in the hottest part of the Texas afternoon, she delivered a beautiful baby girl, my granddaughter. Now residing on the timeless rolls of grandfathers, with the prospects good that the day will climax with a discharge from the hospital for glowing mother and radiant child. Having shared the news with my own father, our family’s living members now span four generations again for the first time in a decade. One thing that has changed for me, probably for all times, is the realization that some part of me will go on, long after I’m gone, and that at least one more chance exists for me to help shape the future. Children are and have ever been the real stars of Fathers’ Day, and it is on Fathers’ Day that we who are blessed with children, now grown and building families of their own, hope longingly for their frequent return.
Happy Fathers’ Day to all, and Grandfathers too. And congratulations to new fathers, especially!
Editor’s Note: It’s been a rough Spring here, with a heavy workload and unrelenting problems of varying sorts, but today, I might just take part of the day off after all. Mother, daughter, and father are tired but doing well.