Sons and Fathers

Beaver with hid dad (and mom).

Beaver with hid dad (and mom).

I heard a news story last week that spending on dads for Father’s Day is 40 percent less than similar spending for Mother’s Day. I probably could have guessed that. Father’s Day has always seemed to possess less luster than May’s paean to mothers, at least on the Hallmark side of things.

Dads are still important. I’m sure daughters have their own thoughts about their fathers. Boys, dads, and the dynamics inherent in that relationship are an entirely different animal.

I don’t know why, but when I think of my dad, I often think of the countless times we played catch in the backyard. When I had a son of my own, I loved to hear him say, “you want to throw?” We carried on that tradition from grade school, up through when he’d come home from college during the summer. I even got to coach him three more years than most dads get to.

Looking back over the years, I have many memories of my dad. There are things we’ve disagreed on, and even argued vehemently on opposite sides of issues. Some of those arguments are pretty stupid in retrospect. He’s a good man and I’ve learned some important lessons from him.

Dads don’t live forever, although when we’re little boys, we think that they do. I’m fortunate that my own father is still with us. I’m spending some time with him today. I’m not sure what we’ll talk about. Probably sports. We’ll have a beer together. I know I’ll look back on today and remember it when I can’t spend time with him in-person anymore.

My son, Mark, gave me a nice pre-Father’s Day treat by coming up last weekend and cheering me and Miss Mary on during our triathlon last Sunday. He shot a ton of great photos, too. I treasure our relationship and will enjoy talking with him by phone later today.

Happy Father’s Day. We might play second fiddle to mothers, but dads matter.