Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

It's Father's Day, and it's the first day of summer.
It's still real quiet here. All the kids are here, and that's something unusual. It's something I really, really appreciate. But they're sleeping in. They appreciate it, and I appreciate the quiet time, too.
I was blessed with four children. I always wonder about the impact I've had on them - mostly, it's been a case of just getting out of their way and not holding them back. I've occasionally tossed some challenges their way, but mostly they've challenged themselves. My job appears to have been to write the checks and pick them up, dust them off and not even let them think about giving up.
There have been plenty of failures along the way, of course. I hope I've taught them not to focus on them. After all, the story says Thomas Edison failed 6,000 times before he got the first light bulb right - and it only improved from there.
They're all different from each other, and all different from me.
I can't take credit for how they're turning out: Matthew, the car geek who's in the parts business, Andrew, the ski bum in engineering school, Katherine, the singer who's made it to Carnegie Hall - and who will master the art of spinning a rifle in guard - and Robert, the spelling champion and drum major who just looks so natural in a tux.
This is about you guys.
I sat down at my computer this morning to put up the Web site this morning, and discovered this from Andrew:
Happy Father's Day!

Thank you for being here for me when I need it.
Thank you for teaching me right from wrong.
Thank you for helping me through the roughest times.
Thank you for pushing me to greatness in my best times.
Thank you for changing my diapers when I was a baby.
Thank you for giving me money when I need it.
Thank you for cuddling me when I was a child.
Thank you for all the hugs.
Thank you for taking care of my wounds.
Thank you for being an inspiration of what a good father should be like.
Thank you for accepting me for who I choose to be.
Thank you for a truly warped sense of humor.
Thank you for teaching me how to write properly.
Thank you for teaching me puns and word-play.
Thank you for letting me be a rebel when I needed to be.
Thank you for letting me make my own mistakes.
Thank you for letting me learn from your mistakes.
Thank you for being honest with me.
Thank you for all of your respect.

Thank you for being a truly fantastic father.

I love you

I felt the tears well up. Thanks, guys, for being my kids.

- Dad

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