I remember the first time I saw you. I stood there trembling over the thought of this precious gift I was given and the responsibility that went along with it. With your mother’s hand in mine, I became Dad, and my life changed forever.
Changing a diaper was a skill quickly learned when mom was at work and it was just the two of us. I always made your favorite for dinner, and it amazed me how quickly a bowl of spaghetti could turn into a hat by just turning my back on you for a moment. Then we would play for hours. No matter how many times you knocked the blocks over, I stacked them back up just to hear you laugh once more. You climbed on my back when you were tired and it was off to bed. I read the same story for six years, and it soon became my favorite, too.
It seems like just yesterday when I let go of your bike for the first time. The little hand I once held was taking a firm grip on life, and my role changed. I became the strength you looked for when confronted with an obstacle; the shoulder you leaned on when things didn’t go your way. Rain or shine, I was on call whenever a ride was needed. I kept a ladder handy to get the Frisbee off the roof, and calamine lotion for when I searched for the ball in the bushes. No matter how many times I told myself no more, I always found an excuse to give in when you wanted something.
The years continued to go by. There is a car in the driveway instead of a bike, high school has turned to college and you are making your own way in the world. I'm more a spectator now, but always there when you need me. Our journey is far from over, so for the time being I'll just sit back and take pride in the person you have become.
I’ve accomplished many things in my life, but nothing is more precious to me than hearing those four little words, “Hi, dad, I’m home.”
A very Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers out there!