For those who know my father, he's a throwback to the days when guys could fix anything. He was involved in building our house, built his own shed, rebuilt a 69 Chevy Impala convertible - you get the picture. That's just the building - we haven't even touched on the repairs.
He comes to my house and immediately gets to work on things that have been lingering for weeks, if not months, that should have been (and could have been) rectified in an hour.
As a comparison, for some reason, I have trouble keeping the laces on my shoes tied for a full eight hours.
For so much of my life, I was frustrated because I wanted to be the kind of dad my dad was - able to fix things and do so with seeming ease. In that way, he's sort of like the MacGuyver of dads (yes, another 80's reference, friends). He had an intuitive intellect and proficiency to engineer his way out of any challenge and resolve conflict. We never were under threat of a bomb, but something tells me with an egg shell, a piece of chewing gum, and yes, a flashlight (always a flashlight), he'd get us to safety.
In this way, I focused much of my definition of being a father on what a dad does, not necessarily who a dad is. Even with the traditional fatherhood "hommage", the focus tends to be around the image of a "good provider" - the things a dad does to provide, such as hold down a good job, make money, etc.
Today, I realize the more important focus is who a father is. Does he show up? Does he listen? Does he do the work - not the 9 AM to 5 PM but the 9 PM to 5 AM, too? (This is a shout out especially to all those new dads out there. I could deal with the diapers but the sleep deprivation was a killer.)
To all of these questions, I can answer a resounding "yes" when it comes to my dad. That is the tribute that we should all aspire to - dads or not.
Today, in 2021, my dad finds himself, like many of us, reinventing parts of his life in ways thought unimaginable just a short time ago. These are the father's days that really matter - the 24 hour periods that don't change the fiber of who a man, woman, person is but who they continue to become.
Happy Father's Day to one amazing dad and a multitude of others who continue to define that who a person "is" matters as much, sometimes more, as what a person "does".
Until next time,