Fatherhood is the most difficult and rewarding career I have held. Is anything rewarding easy? I’ve worked on physically demanding jobs in warehouses, rail cars, and construction, and in mentally stressful positions as a sales executive and CEO. Financial, intellectual, and spiritual rewards have ranged from dismal to excessive. Now I am happily semi-retired, which means I like to work and work at what I like, when I like.
Of all of the jobs I have worked over the past 45 years, none is more rewarding, demanding, continuously challenging, educational, stressful and relaxing, fulfilling and humbling, or loving as fatherhood. I’m on call 24/7/365 until I leave this world. Our baby will be 26 this summer and our oldest is our 33-year-old son with a child. He’s a father too and better at it than I was. Our 27-year-old middle child, a beautiful, brilliant woman like her younger sister, works with us.
Wherever they are, here in Virginia, Minneapolis, or San Diego, I’m always available to answer questions, solve problems, listen, laugh, motivate, or inspire. Yet of the many rewards, learning from them tops my list. Rewarding because their teaching me something tells me we did a great job. They don’t need me as much, not like they did as children and young adults, but the hook and ladder is always ready to go on a moment’s notice. You veteran fathers no exactly what I’m talking about.
This Father’s Day, our hats are off to you dads. It’s only one day, but it’s ours. A little respite, unless of course the fire bell rings.
Thank you to all of the fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and others in the role as a father for your hard work and dedication to your children.