Fathers' Day is going to be really hard for many people this year.
A couple nights ago, the stars lined up really, really well. My wife's parents took our daughter for the night for a sleep-over, and my wife was away setting up for our daughter's birthday party. That left just me and the boys at home. Once our youngest was in bed, I turned my attention to Eli, middle child, oldest son, it was his turn for bed.
"No Daddy. Nuggle? Cars?"
How could I refuse?
We stayed up for an extra hour that night, snuggled on the couch and watched Lightning McQueen Go from a narcissistic race car to a thoughtful, considerate, soulful speedster. I don't get a lot of time like this, just me and my son. Our family's natural rhythm doesn't really work that way. On that couch though, my thoughts turned to Fathers' Day. It's going to be a tough one for a lot of people this year.
Lane Graves is my son's age, I don't want to try and imagine the horror going on in his father's mind. He'll never believe his daughter when she tells him he's "the best dad ever," something daughters do often. Every victim of the Orlando shooting last week either was or had a father. Maybe they had good relationships with their dads, maybe they didn't, but for the dads who have outlived their sons, Fathers' Day will never be the same.
We talk a lot, in our culture, about Mothers' Day and how hard it can be on some mothers and women who desperately want to break in to the sorority of motherhood. Fathers' Day is no different. Circumstances may be different, perhaps, but many fathers and would-be fathers hope, pray and wish to someday hear the words I and many of you will hear on Sunday morning from across a plate of burnt french toast, bacon and eggs that we will eat: "Happy Fathers' Day Daddy, I love you."
Don't take it for granted, because next Fathers' Day, some of us won't be here anymore, and neither will some of our kids.
Cherish what you have now, put down your phone, and hug your kids.
For all of those who can't.
Happy Fathers' Day