My kids and I are 3,000 miles away from their dad.
Some might say (some days, I might say) that’s the best Father’s Day gift we could give him, but I know he doesn’t feel that way. I know he misses us today, even though we haven’t been gone long.
I am lucky.
My kids’ dad works hard–very hard–to ensure that our family never goes without. He provides for the bulk share of necessities like food on the table, clothes on backs, soccer club dues, and birthday party bouncy house deposits without complaint. He attends overnight field trips where he sleeps on gym floors and leads church youth programs just to spend more time with his sons.
My kids’ dad gets up in the middle of the night with no more argument than the occasional ‘ugfff’ and soothes tears and cleans up vomit (on one memorable occasion, off the walls). He knows who Bowser and Dr. Mario are and when to deploy mushrooms in Plants vs. Zombies and exactly why Dumb and Dumber makes our kids double over in laughter. (He’s laughing harder.) He reviews every page of homework that I’ve tossed directly into the recycling bin and calls to hear the report from every pediatrician visit, no matter how minor the sniffles that sent us there.
My kids’ dad believes in his kids. He never questions that they are the brightest, the kindest, the toughest, and the bravest, not in their hearing nor in front of their eyes…and so they are. He expects the world of them: the best of everything for them, and the best of everything from them. (Absolutely no exceptions.)
They know this. They wrap themselves up in this like a cloak that can one day double as a cape and be worn to save the world.
Today, they say thank you.