Happy Father's Day. Enjoy the variations on fathers pictured above. My husband, Allen and our youngest grand-child. Then three generations captured together with the addition of Brian into the picture appearing as both son and father and then the final snap is one concluding with Brian and all three of his sons in the same frame (pretty unique -- as a beach calls boys in all sorts of directions at the same time.)
The picture of Allen walking with eager toddler reminds me so much of an old photo of my own dad, walking a then-toddler-Sarah down the sidewalk in her little green personalized OshKosh overalls and purple hooded sweatshirt. That photo is one of my very favorites of my dad. What is it about grown men with toddlers that capture the heart-strings so immediately? Rough 'n tuff manly men, family providers, now gifted with a new role, that of appreciating the role of grand-father-hood. With the gift of time comes opportunity & insight, both. That's part of the equation undoubtedly.
The other portion of the equation? That total, complete trust and adoration on the part of the toddler. Decades apart in perspective, on the scenes unfolding, yet connected by a teeny finger's grip into that of a big-bear paw of a mitt of fingers. The cruising toddler is out exploring the world anew, every wave's splash or sidewalk's twig a whole new marvel to explore, surely a gift to the parent. Multiply that blessedness by a gazillion for the grandpa on the journey. PRICELESS, indeed.
What a treasure for my daddy to get to explore the role of great-grandpa. He wears the hat well, happily known as "POP-POP" by three blue-eyed wonders. Just last week I was walking Pop-Pop's 'Little Red' down the local metro park trail, when passers-by inquired, "Where'd ya get that amazing red hair, little one?" I knew the answer: Pop-Pop!! She just smiled and waved, flipping her carrot-top tresses knowing even as a three year old that they set her apart.
We have biological gifts from our fathers for certain, but the gifts of time and attention are the ones that hew the marble of our personalities into what the world will come to know over time as our own legacy. The consistency of presence is the most magnificent present of all. The attendance at junior high band concerts or coaching of sporting teams, the supervision of homework and trips to the orthodontist, the wild cheering of the original Big Red Machine from the top deck -- in honor of a straight A report card, those are the impressions that string together the pearls of childhood into a worthy necklace for adolescence and create a treasured heirloom to share through adulthood.
Happy Father's Day, daddy!!! Happy Father's Day, Allen!!!! Happy Father's Day, Brian & Scott!!! It's a great day to reflect on the value of love and dedication.