You either have the best father in the world or you don’t. It’s a magical, occasionally cruel truth. My dad is the extraordinary kind. He raised four kids with big hearts and clean criminal records. And by raised I mean is currently raising. Parenting is the only job from which there is no retirement. No 401K, no dental plan, no Federally-enforced vacation days. It’s a pretty thankless career too. Except for one day out of the year when we try to repay years of support with a card or gift. Every other day is about us. It’s Kids Day twenty-four seven, 363.
There are countless time’s I’ve said “thank you” to my father for his unconditional love – for the overwhelmingly huge gestures of support he’s shown me down to the simple dedication of his time. Like every moment he pledged to playing catch with me as a kid. Thanks always sounds inadequate though. In this rare instance words fail me. It’s at these moments when my dad leans over and grabs my hand to say, “It’s what we do. You’ll understand when you have kids.”
Maybe dad. Maybe years down the line when I’m teaching my kid to catch with two hands on the ball in the alley behind our house, it will hit me. I’ll understand why you worked a job with long hours, nonexistent pay and a reverse pension plan. But until then I’ll keep trying to say thanks the best way I know how – by being the kind of human worthy of such love.
Thank you poppa. Happy Father’s Day. I hope I make you proud.
“There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem – once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.“ Al Gallagher, 1971