Sunday, June 24, 2012

Call Him Dad

Note: I meant to post this last week on Father's Day. But on Father's Day I was in Connecticut, reconnecting with one of my sisters, looking at fireflies and generally enjoying weather that was at least 20 degrees cooler than it is in Texas. Plus I couldn't figure out how to log onto this damn little notebook that the tech department at work had given me (yes, basically user error). So instead this is going up today.

It is sometimes hard to believe, but my son Michael is now a father. His daughter is a little over two months old and it still takes me by surprise when I see Michael and her together and realize that he helped create this little miracle and is responsible for her.

As it turns out, Michael is a wonderful father. And watching him with his infant daughter is a gift that brings great joy. The love and caring I see in him for his child is remarkable. To see my son grown up and being such a caring, loving father is one of the great joys of my life.

Some of this is because I lost my own father at such a young age. I really don't remember much about my father. I know that he was in many ways a traditional father of his time (the late 1950s and early 1960s) who didn't actually do things with or for his children. The day to day care of children was very much the domain of mothers back then. And my father made a big mistake leaving us to our mother because he missed out on a lot with us. And we, or really I, was left with few memories of him when he died.

I don't worry about Michael missing out. He is fully vested in taking care of this daughter and any other children he may have in the future. I see this commitment every time he takes his daughter into his arms. His love is unconditional and real. He is that truest of men. A man who knows that there is more to caring for his child than simply providing material goods for her. A man who understands that merely saying "I love you" to his daughter is not the only way or even the best way sometimes of demonstrating that love. A man who will not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to help his daughter, be it a diaper change when she is a baby, helping her with her homework in grade school, saying no to that party she wants to attend in junior high, teaching her how to change a tire when she is a teen, or being on the other end of the phone to just listen when she goes off to college and is homesick.

Happy belated Father's Day Michael. I love you.