Father’s day for me is a series of moments, mingling across the landscape of the past fifteen years:
It’s the moment of bewilderment when the nurse holds up our newborn daughter, punk style hair, black as an evening ocean, and my wife and I realize we have just become parents.
It’s the moment of horror when I realize my young son prefers to talk about the Carolina Hurricanes rather than Our Lady Peace.
It’s the moment of pain when I realize that I’ve just spoken harmful words in a harmful way to my very sensitive fifteen year old daughter.
It’s the moment of sweetness when I look into my beautiful wife’s eyes and we simultaneously realize that we just may survive the teenage years of our children. (You know, that span of approximately 8 years when everyone goes INSANE, as the teenagers go through adolescence, and the parent goes through his or her adolescence… again.)
It’s the moment of ecstasy when my thirteen year old daughter scores a goal, and I can scream my head off because I’m the assistant coach and screaming is therefore legal.
It’s the moment of tenderness and disorienting love when I look into my son’s sleepy dark eyes and hear him say “You’re the best Dad ever.”
It’s the moment of quiet elation when I feel my fifteen year old daughter slip her arm into the crook of my own as we’re walking, and rest her head on my shoulder.
It’s the moment of unfettered anguish when I see the plans I’ve just made shattered by the pressing need of one of my children.
It’s the moment when a sense of purpose overwhelms me, as I hold my tearful daughter on my lap after a long day of relational pain.
It’s the moment of stunned awakening when I realize my son has just punched me in the arm just a bit harder than he did last week.
It’s the moment of breathless thought as I see my oldest daughter round the corner, looking very much like her mother and very much like a young woman.
It’s the moment of triumph when I allow my child to develop in their character by choosing not to rescue them from a situation, and their true colors show as they deal well with a problem.
It’s the moment of fear when I wonder if I did the right thing, said the right thing, will do the right thing next time when my daughter struggles to keep a good attitude toward her parents.
It’s the moment of wonder when I realize that the day I cross the shining seas to touch the endless white shores of Eden, my favorite people in life, my wife and children, will cross either before or behind me – to live forever, together.