I don’t make a big deal about Father’s Day. In my house, we have a tradition where my wife buys the whole family matching flag shirts and I take a photo with the kids holding a homemade Father’s Day poster. Then I’ll relax, have a steak, and enjoy the family.
This year, things didn’t go quite as planned because my daughter, Nee, left for Girl Scout camp and my wife, KayEm, and I had to decorate our church for Vacation Bible School. However, this Father’s Day turned out to be one of the most memorable.
KayEm drove Nee and a friend to camp. During the drive, KayEm was fretting about Nee’s being away for three whole days. At the camp, KayEm scurried around the cabin making Nee’s bed, putting away her things, and making sure that our little princess was comfortable. After several minutes of watching her mother, Nee grew frustrated.
“Mom, stop being overprotective,” Nee said. “I got this.”
KayEm was taken aback. She had just witnessed her shy, reserved little girl become an independent young lady right before her eyes.
Hearing about Nee’s declaration of independence was a great Father’s Day gift. It made me proud to know that we are raising our daughter to be a confident woman who can fend for herself and make her own way.
But the gift that had the biggest impact on me was the one from my 3-year-old son, X. After church, I went to the daycare area to pick him up. He ran to the door and handed me a small, laminated card.
“Here daddy,” he said smiling. “I made you a present.” On one side, was a heart that X made with his thumbprints. On the other side was this short poem:
This little card is filled with all of my love!
It’s meant to go into your wallet, and act like a hug!
Whenever you notice it, as you go through your day,
Remember that I love you, and for you I always pray!
When you hold it in your hand, and see my little heart,
Please know that my love for you will never part!
I know that the card was mass-produced and that every dad at the church probably got one, but the words really moved me. I’m not one to be overly emotional, but I felt my eyes water a little after reading it. I stuck the card in my wallet for safe-keeping, gave my son a big hug and told him that I loved him.
“Yeah, you do,” he replied (obviously, he has no problem with confidence).
Being able to pull a hug from my wallet will make the times I’m away from my family a little bit more bearable.
Join the conversation: What was your most memorable Father’s Day gift?