My Father’s Day began around midnight on I-95, crawling through construction traffic, on the way home from a performance where a grand total of 5 people attended.
It continued with arriving home, taking the illuminated phone out of my sleeping teen’s hand, turning off the lights, locking up the house, and prepping for today’s service.
It does not look like many of the pictures you will see today, with smiling children next to proud, smiling fathers.
It looks like work.
It looks like missing some moments.
It looks like a struggle.
Of course, the pictures that we will see represent all those hours, some of which I am experiencing at this moment.
Please don’t misunderstand. I believe time with my children is the greatest and most important part of fatherhood.
But it isn’t the only one.
It is also the hours away. The times no one sees. Where no photographer is ready to capture the perfect moment of being a dad.
Those hours I know that my dad spent, late nights at a dental office that he started and kept running year after year; nights where I knew he would come home tired and needing rest.
Those hours where I’m sure the one thing he did not want to do was the thing he did.
Make a way financially so that he could spend the time he wanted to spend with his family later on.
I think of the fathers called away to battle. The fathers on the front lines of assembly lines. Those that never got the chance to have the children rush into their arms.
And I realize I’m blessed.
I may not have every moment I want to have with my family.
But I will treasure every one, while working to fulfill every responsibility this role presents to me.
Because the picture I want my kids to see is a complete one.
One where they see me having fun with them, and also one where they see the dedication necessary to provide for them.
I pray every father will also know every moment, both those with your children, and those where you have to be away, are important.
Thank you, Dad, for fulfilling both of these roles extremely well.
I see a little bit of you in myself at this moment.
And it feels good.