Father's Day: Lessons from Grandpa
Submitted by awesomeopa
It's probably no surprise that I like Father's Day. I am, after all, a father, and it's kind of hard to complain about a day set aside to celebrate me. My oldest daughter was born on Father's Day in 1978, so my first Father's Day was probably my most memorable. This year, three kids and four grandchildren later, I will celebrate my 30th Father's Day. Time really does fly.
The truth is that I didn't learn how to appreciate Father's Day until I became a grandpa. When my kids were young, I worked two (sometimes three) jobs. I was a school teacher and I hardly earned enough to make ends meet, so I supplemented my income by coaching basketball and mowing lawns in our neighborhood. I put in 60- or 70-hour weeks. Those were hard years. I spent more time working than I did sleeping or playing. My kids had everything they ever needed or wanted, but I paid for it in sweat off of my back.<
Back then, even Father's Day was a rush. Sure, we took the time to go to church, make a special dinner and open presents, but the rush of the upcoming work week often consumed me, making me forget about relaxing and savoring the moment.<
My kids are all grown up now. They have jobs and mortgages and kids of their own, and often spend their days fretting about bills and childcare and all of those things that consumed me when they were little. Now I know better. I know that there are more important things to focus on.
This Father's Day I don't need a new tie or a backyard barbecue (although a nice steak would really hit the spot). I'll be perfectly content to spend Father's Day relaxing with my kids and grandkids.
I imagine how I'll spend Father's Day: I'll take my grandson on a walk in the woods or take him on a ride in my tractor. I'll bounce the babies on my knee and sing them silly songs and watch their faces light up. I'll take the time to ask them about their days, to listen to their stories, to show them how to plant flowers instead of just doing it myself. I'll take the time to do all the things that I didn't have the time for when my kids were young. These days, I finally have time.