What it’s Like Being A Dad

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Being a dad is the greatest thing in the world. That much I know is true, and I’m sure you would likely agree. But what do we tell our friends who ask us what it’s like actually being a dad? The guy whose lucky lady have a bun in the oven and the guy who doesn’t, but someday might, are curious to know your take on fatherhood. They ask you because you’re in the trenches, fighting the good fight to raise your kids well. What do you tell them?

If you’re at all like me, you fail to find the words to adequately describe the intense highs and debilitating lows of fatherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I have an answer. It’s just that, I don’t know… it never seems to be as powerful as say, a heartwarming video. Roll the film.

“What Do You Want For Father’s Day, Daddy?”

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Realizing that #OperationMothersDay was a smashing success, my kids quickly started interrogating me as to what I wanted for Father’s Day.

It was no surprise to them that The LEGO Movie was on my wish list, but with its release date two days late, they needed a solid replacement if they were to celebrate my very existence in their life on the same day as the rest of America (June 15th for the uninitiated). What their approach lacked in subtlety was made up for in their amusing suggestions.

“I bet daddy wants to go back to Great Wolf Lodge!” “Where can we buy a Batmobile?” “Daddy, I know you want ice cream for Father’s Day!”

These kids, they remind me of me when I was in their shoes; always wondering what I could get for my dad that I would also like having around the house. Like the time I bought him the ‘Led Zeppelin Greatest Hits’ CD or the time I took him to see Styx and REO Speedwagon.

My answer was the best I could muster, knowing that the money they use to buy me a gift is coming out of my wallet (there goes the crossbow) and that no kid wants to buy their dad a gift they never see him use like, say, an iTunes gift card so he could update his running playlist.  Still, my answer was truthful – just not particularly helpful.

I told my kids that daddy wants something no store can sell. Something no one can create – no matter how many bottles of glitter glue and googly eyes are in the craft bin. Daddy wants time.

Time. That’s it.

I want more time to enjoy them all at such a creative, adventurous, and precious age. I want time to read them their favorite books, build the biggest fort, and have the best campfire s’mores the world’s ever tasted.  I want time to stand still, if only for a moment, so I can be sure I never forget how proud of them I am and the people they are becoming. They’re compassionate, ambitious, and sarcastic – three characteristics no person should ever be lacking.  I want to live these days over and over again.

Daddy wants time. Lots of it. He wants time to tell you about God, how much mommy and I love you, and how to do this thing we call life without making the same mistakes I’ve made. Well… most of them anyway. Daddy wants time to just be with you, because you’re awesome and without you he wouldn’t even be qualified for this special holiday.

I told my kids I wanted time for Father’s Day… either that, or LEGOs. At least then I can spend the day having fun with the people I love most.

 

What did you tell your kids you wanted for Father’s Day this year?