I sent out four Father’s Day cards this weekend, to four different men, for four different reasons.
The first card went to my dad. Even though we’ve had our differences, had our troubles, the past 15 years or so have been great. We mended broken fences and have become not just dad and daughter, but friends. He’s been a great source of comfort and support, and I think I’ve been able to give that to him too.
I also sent a card to my step-father. Married to my mom for the past 32 years, he has played a significant role in my life. Our relationship wasn’t always easy either. I was barely out of high school when he came into our lives. He had to navigate not just a new relationship, but a ready-made family. He survived the storms of teenage angst and dodge the arrows of “I don’t have to listen to you, you’re not my REAL dad.”
As the years past, our relationship matured as we did. I saw what a good man he was, and that he made my mother very happy. That, in its self would be enough to endear him to me, but that he came to love me as much as his biological children, cinched the deal.
When Mister and I married, my dad walked me down the aisle, and my minister step-dad officiated.
The third card went to my father-in-law, the man who helped shape the man my husband is today. A retired Air Force master sergeant, my father-in-law is a force of nature. He accepted me into their family since the first time my husband brought me around to meet his parents. Not always the easiest man to understand, he is still someone who has had a major impact on my life, and I am better for knowing him.
The last card went to my husband. I don’t believe I could have found a better father, a better man, to help me raise our two children. From day one, he was involved and engaged in their lives.
Mentor, coach, advocate, co-conspirator, he is the “go-to” guy in good times and bad. He is there to offer advice, a strong shoulder, or enable sophomoric shenanigans. (When she was in high school, he supplied our daughter with bulk packages of toilet paper and industrial-size rolls of plastic wrap… I won’t elaborate, so when asked by authorities, you can honestly say you don’t know what those were for.)
He was the fun dad, the smart dad, the “don’t mess with my kid” dad. I can’t wait to see what a phenomenal grandpa he will be.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers in my life.