I joined the dad's club almost 24 years ago. It's a tough club. Oh, yeah, a lot of guys can have a child, but, in my mind, it takes real man to be a father. There ain't any manuals, no classes to take, to online programs you can view to give you a clear picture. It's not a temporary gig, it's a long term deal. Weekends at the ball field, summer vacations camping out in the woods, recitals, band concerts, football games, braces, hospital trips in the middle of the night, bills, expensive uniforms, video games, birthday parties, college tuition. Lots of anxiety and frustration involved. Worrying about things you can't control. Trying to make sure everything goes right, while not trying to interfere. And yet, even with all these challenges, I would not trade the title for anything. Watching your son walk for the first time, score the winning run, play a solo, achieve his Eagle Rank, graduate from High School & College, get engaged to his high school girlfriend makes it all worth it.
My dad is out on the road again going to another rally. As avid RVers, he and mom spend a several months a year on the road to various rallies or destinations. Both have been members of the Wally Byam Airstream Club (requirement is to own an Airstream) ever since he retired and has gone all over the US. The used to pull up stakes around the beginning of May and not come home until mid September. I think it was to avoid the heat down here, but they do love to travel together. You'd think at 88 years old, they'd start slowing down, but it is hard to nail them down. We miss them when they are out on the road, but I consider them to be fortunate that they are able to still do these adventures. Many of their friends have long since moved into retirement homes or given up their travels.
For many years, my dad hasn't been here for father's day so we've made it a habit to call him and try to send some cards/gifts out to him at the rally. With the boy scout troop, we've typically been in camp or on the trail over father's day, so I am not always able to reach him.
Thanks dad for all you've done for me and my ne'er-do-well brothers. We were a pain in the butt at times, cost you a fortune and your hairline, and were probably the source of all your heartburn. In spite of all of our troubles and shortfalls, we turned out alright, which can only be testament to how you raised us. I admire you for your strength, your patience, your leadership, your guidance, your integrity. In everything I do, I strive to live up to your standards. I was once asked in an interview who was my hero and my immediate reply was my dad. I am one lucky sob to have such a great dad and I owe a lot of what I am to him. I can only hope that I can do the same job for my son.