Happy Father's Day!!!
So this makes my 5th Father's Day, and I must say it is a nice feeling. I think Dad's are a little different (okay a LOT different) than women. For Mother's Day, it is generally understood the focus is to pamper Mom. To elevate her onto a throne and pedestal (and yes, Mom's you deserve it, I firmly believe that). But with Dad's it's a little different, and hard to explain. Let me try.
I'll use baseball as an analogy/example. Whether a pitcher pitches a shut out or a no-hitter, or when the last pitch is thrown in the World Series, ever notice, even though all of the attention, accomplishment, and spotlight is on that that pitcher, he runs to one person on the field. Every time! It is the Catcher. You know why (and no, I am not just partial because that's the position I've always played, even in pick-up softball games lol)? Because, as some of you may know, the Pitcher and Catcher are known as a Battery. Negative, positive, existing is WONDERFUL harmony. Both needing each other equally, without pride. That is what we are as Fathers.
We, like that Catcher you see, don't need, don't even want to sit on a throne. Most of us would feel awkward, and useless, because we are supposed to be in the thick of it. Like that Catcher you see, knelt down, a part of the action, having the view of everything going on, and having a hand in everything happening too. Getting down and dirty of we have to, and LEADING the team on everything that can potentially happen. We don't mind that the assumption is (too paraphrase from "The George Lopez Show") WE GOT THIS. We don't mind that only during the stressful times (big plays at home plate) are the times that the appreciation for us makes it to the verbal world. We are cool knowing our entire parental life is about being prepared for anything and being able to act quickly, when it all starts to fall apart. We are cool knowing the spotlight isn't even on us most of the time. We, as TRUE Fathers (let's be honest, anyone can drop off sperm, but it takes a true MAN to be a Father), like those Catchers you see, do it because it is in our blood, our DNA, in every fiber in our being to be there. Most of us may have had that shining example as children, for me, thank GOD, it was my Dad.
For myself, the beautiful "payoff" moments are those quiet 3 AM's when Ayanna says she is having a bad dream and wants to cuddle with Mami (not realizing she is right next to me lol), and I lift her up and tap Damary....then sometime the next day, Ayanna looks at me and says Thank you. For myself, those "payoff" moments are when Annabelle and Ayanna are talking in their room (and since they are 4 and 2, I can hear them through every room in the house lol), and they collectively decide to come and tell me I am a good Papi. For myself, it is when I pick them up from daycare, and the teachers and other parents just tell me how nice it is that there are children who say "Thank you" and "Please" still. I don't need spotlights, I don't need pedestals.
Like those Catchers you see at those moments, I have Love. I receive love, respect, and appreciation from my children, Ayanna and Annabelle. I receive a look of "thanks, I am not in this alone" from "my team Pitcher", Damary when she is at her wits end, (or my favorite look from Damary that says "why do they listen to you when you tell them something once, and I am on the 50th time?"....I REALLY love those moments...lol).
So that is why most of us Dad's laugh at the general populace when they see us out with our children alone, and think we are so helpless, or should be patted on the head. That is why when I am with the girls and see another Father with their children, we exchange glances, and smiles. This is why, most of us, prefer to do something on Father's Day with the people that make it possible for us to celebrate the day to begin with!! For me, I am taking the girls and Damary to go see Pixar's "Up", because the girls love the commercial. We know the trenches, knelt down, in the dirt, is how we are supposed to be. We know that we are apart of an elite fraternity: Fatherhood.
Happy Father's Day to all of you out there. See ya in the Dugout!!
-Until The Wheels Fall Off