Grandpa Jack. Talked about him a lot in Cleveland. Was great to hear stories about him I hadn't heard. Thanks, Jim! Happy Father's Day.
Father's Day snuck up on me this year.
To be honest, this day is a mixed bag of feelings for me. There are so many reasons I am thankful for the dad's in my life and yet, it is still a tough day. I do want to wish all of the dad's out there a very happy Father's Day, though, especially my dad.
During my teen years, I hated this day. My dad and I were struggling to maintain a relationship and had a hard go of it until around 1995. Then we started repairing and renewing the bond we shared before I turned about 14. Again, today is not the day for that stuff. I am so thankful, though, to have my dad in my life. I lean on him a lot, even if I don't make a big show of it.
Those of you who know my dad understand what a good dude he truly is. I love that he accepts and champions my family and our quirky creativity and passion for life. I love that he gets right in there and has a good time when we have gatherings, regardless of who he is talking to at the moment. I am very proud of him for the growth he has shown in the last 40 years.
I'm thankful for my father-in-law, Doug, too. He's an excellent guy and a great dad and grandpa. He has shared so many things with me over the last 16 years and I love how much he teaches me about life. I feel very fortunate to spend this time with him this year and enjoy the beautiful place he built for us all.
My stepdad, Joe, has really turned things around over the last several years, too. We went through a tough time about seven or eight years ago, but I am glad to have him in my corner. He is a very good grandfather to Liam and Teresa, even if they don't appreciate that he tries to help them see how to go after what they want. This is a quality I hope to pass on to my grandchildren, too.
I was very fortunate to have wonderful grandfathers, too, who taught me many lessons... but it seems that I shall need them now. Trees have fallen and are about to fall in the yard and I must deal with them to keep the electricity on.
I wanted to share how proud I am of the Father's (and Father substitutes) so many of you have become. Before I run out of writing gas, it is important for me to share the strength I get from so many of you as I see how you love your kids. We are all still learning to be Dads, but it is great to be on the journey with you.
I have seven kids. I will hear "Happy Father's Day" from maybe three of them. This is why it is a tough day. I can't blame them, really, as I wasn't the greatest dad and stepdad early on, but it also feels like today is the day I get to be punished, just a little for being an asshole. I always know it is coming, too, but it is what it is.
For what it is worth, though, I forgive them if they feel like they can get a little bit of some type of feeling by not wishing me a good day. I'm still going to help them all out however I can or be there for them if and when they need me. That's what Dads do, right?
In the long run, whether or not I get a greeting today means very little except for that sting around 7pm when you realize it's not coming. I'd like to think we are passed this stuff. I know I am. After today, I won't think about it again until my birthday. Even as I write this, I can feel that stuff drifting away. Feels good to put it out there after so many years of keeping it inside.
There is a song from a band called Quintaine Americana that I love. It has a line in it that says, "So what do you want me to say, happy Father's Day?" It gets me in the feels every time.
Let me see if I can find it.
See you tomorrow.