It was Christmas, my birthday, and Father’s Day rolled into one this morning. I’m not sure I should be posting something so personal.
My son and I share breakfast out, three or four mornings every week. We’re squeezing in time this rushed week with not a minute to spare.
From time to time he’ll mention that I was a good dad, and I wave him off. But this morning he went a step further. He reminisced in detail about different things we did when he was little, and about how they imprinted his moral code and his world view now as a grown up.
But for reasons still unclear to me, he then donned the away team jersey and walked into my ballpark.
He used MY language; of business projects, objectives and achievements; cause and effect. He methodically described the individual links between those long ago home school lessons and the man he is today. He said that he now understood the seemingly random patterns of my vision and execution for him, and how those crazy ideas (“and some were really crazy, dad”) that often made no sense and sometimes made him odd among his friends, represented my guiding hand. He described, in my language, how they resulted in the subtle skills he now has and uses everyday. And he made sure that I understood his message.
Then he paused and added that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to be as good a dad, holding himself up to those standards.
He didn’t blow rainbows up my ass, and for once i didn’t wave my hand saying “yeah yeah thanks kid”. What he did was give me an honest to God detail annual review … for my job as a father. And I got several big (but not ALL) “exceeds expectations” from the only customer that ever mattered. He has tried to say this stuff before, but today he wouldn’t let me just brush him away with “yeah, yeah, every dad does that stuff”. I tried, I really tried, and he wouldn’t let me.
I started today’s breakfast distracted about packing and getting back out of town. But I must admit, on the way home I had a little trouble steering straight.
I guess every dad lives for a day like today. I’m a lucky man.