A day like Father’s Day is always nostalgic.
Some are remembering fathers and grandfathers who are no longer with us, but whose memory is a flame that burns brighter today.
Some have a heightened awareness today of relationships within the family unit that are strained.
Some are wishing for the “good old days” today, as the passage of time seems to be taking us further from the golden days of our youth where being a father or having a father, seemed like the simplest but richest of blessings.
Everyone is one a different journey on Father’s Day. A journey of celebration. A journey of remembering.
As I pass through this day my memories seem to flit over different stages of my life as a dad, kind of like a hummingbird moving from one flower to the next, mining each one for its nectar, but settling on none. I had flashbacks today of breakfasts in bed, when I would wait under the covers for whatever offering my kids had prepared, always having one eye on the clock and a mild anxious feeling in my belly, as I knew I had to get to church to prepare for the service.
As my children aged and changed, Father’s Day did too.
Some years it was filled with activity, and some years it was pre-empted by the many activities that filled my kids lives; soccer practices, work commitments, and the push back that inevitably came with boyfriends and girlfriends. Even the best dad can’t compete with the possibility of a date!
Today, Father’s Day 2023, I must confess I am in a reflective mood. With no church service to plan, and with my kids tied up most of the day, I have spent much of the day alone. Which is okay! Tonight I am playing golf with my boys, something I am really looking forward to. But I’ve been thinking a lot about the role of a father. I’ve only wanted one thing from my kids, that they enjoy the life that I was responsible for giving them. So to that end, a little Father’s Day advice to my kids:
- Be real. Human emotion is the gift we have been given to process life. Laugh a lot. Cry a lot. Say sorry a lot. Smile a lot.
- When you say you had a “bad day”, ask yourself if it was really a bad day, or just a bad few moments in the day. Every day has something of redeeming value.
- Tip well!! Almost everyone in the hospitality industry is on their way somewhere else. A good tip can help them towards their future goals.
- Don’t be mean. Ever. Being unkind, cruel, dismissive, says much more about your character than it does about anyone else.
- Always cheer for your team. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose, sometimes they break your heart. But don’t give up on them!!
- Show up. Your presence is far more important than your words.
- Give when you can. Even if its just a little. Sure, the world is filled with people who will take advantage of you, but it is also filled with genuine need. When you give, everything expands within you.
- Laugh at yourself. You are wonderfully imperfect. When you can laugh at your own shortcomings you make others feel comfortable with theirs.
- Have faith. Whatever that means to you. Faith in God. Faith in your gifts and talents. Faith in your loved ones. Faith in your friends. Faith is the greatest investment that you will ever make in life. It is your way of saying to the world, “I’m going to expect the best and therefore give my best.”
- Read #5 again. Remember your greatest team are those who love you.
Better get ready for golf.
Happy Father’s Day everyone.