For many years now, whenever my kids say “Dad, what would you like for Father’s Day?” the voice inside my head says “Diane Lane!” but the truth is I’m a pretty lucky guy every day. I have a beautiful wife who loves me, two terrific kids and a great job with an excellent company. Plus, there’s beer!
My daughter tells me every year what I’m getting for Father’s Day. Sometimes she tries not to, sometimes it is our little secret, but I don’t remember the last time this day arrived without me knowing (today, I get a new set of headphones to replace the ones she broke a few months ago. They’ll be her “backup” pair and it’s likely we’ll be in the exact same spot a year from now but I don’t care) exactly what is going on.
Our family has had some hard knocks this year. My wife’s best friend (who was also a dear friend of mine) passed away right around Christmas, and my longtime friend Lorne Starko died recently.
As some of you may know, my Mom passed away a week ago and the funeral was Thursday. It was a really tough day, filled with all kinds of emotions. It’s still too fresh in my experience to talk about, but one event during the day of her funeral tells you all you need to know about my experience as a Father and why I’m so happy to have this family.
We’re leaving the funeral home, and it’s a sad group in the car. My wife and me, her sister and the two kids driving home in a daze. I have the air conditioner on because it’s very warm outside and it is extremely hot in the car. My son opens his window, which is verboten in the Lowetide SUV. I say “Son, what are you doing?” and he (and this is new, ordinarily he would have blurted it out) says “um, just taking care of something, Dad.”
I don’t recognize the moment at all and push him. “Son, what are you doing?” I say in the Dad tone that lets him know I mean business.
“Well, fine. If you must know I had a giant piece of snot in my nose all during the funeral and I picked it and threw it out the window. Happy now?” Riotous laughter on a day filled with tears. And that’s one more reason I wouldn’t trade this bunch for anything, not even Diane Lane.
Happy Father’s Day, gentlemen.