You become a father in a few short seconds…
…fatherhood takes the rest of your life.
On Father’s Day 2011 I find myself in a unique place in time:
- My father continues to move inexorably toward a time when things weren’t like they were, nor as we wish they could be
- For the first time in 30 years, I celebrate Father’s Day without any children physically present
- My two oldest sons celebrate Father’s Day as fathers in their own right: fathers of a 3-year-old and a 9 month old
- Aside from visits to our home, all four of our kids are out of the house now
- Yet the flip side: Tuesday my second oldest son reports to the Air Force for basic training, and his wife and 9 month old daughter move in with us for the duration of basic; so I get to be a GrandBob with a baby in the house!
- My daughter finished college in three years and has just completed her first year of graduate school; she is also working part-time as a communications specialist for the North Carolina Women’s Missionary Union; while working and going to school she lives with 3 other girls in a house near her school
- My oldest son continues to enjoy life as a Kitchen Manager for Outback and as a regional trainer for new menu items coming out to all the restaurants; his son, a very energetic 3-year-old, is a chip off the block (can you say “pay for your raising?”) and GrandBob’s buddy
- My youngest son just graduated from high school, then promptly headed off for his third summer as a counselor at a Christian boys camp; he will return at the end of summer just a couple of weeks before starting a culinary/business degree at Johnson & Wales University, living in Charlotte
Fatherhood is a journey, and each step along the way brings a new opportunity to grow and learn just how to be a father. 30 years in, and sometimes I feel like it has just begun.
At other times, I look back and wonder where the time has gone.