Happy Day After Father's Day! (That's only an official holiday in my house.) Did you know that Father's Day was not recognized as a national holiday until Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972? Me neither, until I heard it on NPR.
My dad, like many of his generation, was not a particularly hands-on kind of parent. It wasn't that I didn't see much of him--quite the contrary. A dairy farmer is seldom far from home, and we were often together, milking cows and doing other chores. But the business of overseeing schoolwork, music lessons, etc.--you know, parenting--was mostly left up to Mom. Not that she minded; I think Mom loved raising us.
A funny thing happened when my siblings and I became adults. Dad began reaching out to us in ways that he never had when we were younger. A few years ago, he began sending us letters on Father's Day, telling us how important we are to him. I always open his Father's Day letters with a mixture of gratitude and resignation, because I know that in addition to his now kind of sappy expressions of love there will also be a good amount of preaching. I know he still hopes to bring this strayed lamb back into church, but I guess the bright side is that he won't give up on me.
So, thanks Dad, for the Father's Day gift. We may disagree on many things, but I think we both agree that we love each other.