There’s something to be said about the men in our lives. The ones who held our hands as we learned to walk, who handed us the keys to an old Oldsmobile on a Sunday afternoon when we were 14. There’s a strength in an opinion unmarred by fluff, and heart-to-hearts against a stubbly cheek.
There’s love in the stepdads who stepped up, the grandpas who took on more than they ever should have, the moms who played two roles, and the older colleagues we never want to disappoint. There’s a heart-swelling affection for the friends in other states, who open their arms when we visit, who offer ears, and hearts, and hugs.
There’s an overwhelming admiration for our friends raising little ones and sharing with us the joys and troubles of smaller versions of themselves. There are so many tears when we learn that there will be more of us in the next generations of our families- whether that means blood-relation or not.
There are those whose children have four legs, but there’s no shortage in the love given or the importance of being a papa to one of these furry creatures.
There’s heartbreak in the memory of the smell of tobacco, soil, and sweat, in remembering a rough and sing-song voice calling us baby and singing us to sleep with Hank Williams and Burl Ives.
To the dads, the pop-pops, the moms, the friends, and the brothers who’ve been the men in our lives, Happy Father’s Day.