I woke up this morning with a strange sense – I was nervous.  Days have been leading to a dreadful sense of what today might look like.  When the Wife Unit asked what I wanted to do, I didn’t have an answer and instead of saying that, I became quiet and directed her attention somewhere else.

I’m not sure what was going on, but I couldn’t put anything in words about how I wanted to ask my family to celebrate this day.  In all honesty, I haven’t much felt like a Daddy this past couple of weeks.  I’ve been hard to deal with recently.  Maybe it’s the pain in my back, realization that I’m closer to 40 than any earlier age, or simply I’m trying to see the world a little different but can’t focus my lens.

I didn’t really feel like I should be celebrated.  What makes me a Daddy?  I hold down a great job that has provided for my family.  I try to make sure groceries are in the fridge and bills are paid.  When “it” hits the fan, I’m the first to engage all mechanisms and take care of business.

Is that it?  I try to tell my family I love them when I have the chance. “How can you ever know your limits if you’re not willing to push them?”  We talk and we argue.  I get distracted from plans and forget to stop and just sit with them.  I get busy thinking about the world they’re becoming part of and how can I help them, protect them, teach them, and then just simply show them love?

All these worries.  Insecurities.  This weight I place on my shoulders.

And yet…today was great.  Not because I was showered with cards and breakfast in bed.  Not because my kids tossed accolades at me.  Those are things that make me uncomfortable.

It was great because I could take care of them.  I made breakfast for lunch.  My father-in-law, who has become my hero, helped me get the materials to work on the garage with the help of my mother-in-law.  We unloaded the shingles and boards, except that my back doesn’t allow too much and so everyone worked together.  We watched a couple of movies together.  I made something new for dinner and it wasn’t horrible.  We laughed, a few of us cried when the Prince’s father passed away in Cinderella. I got on the kids for a few little things. I’m a father and a daddy because of this family of mine.  This isn’t a family because I’m a daddy.

So today, I don’t celebrate me.  I celebrate all the Dads in my life that have helped me become more than I thought was capable of.  My own heroes, each in their own right, and probably more powerful because they’re not perfect, but they’re trying to be better.

And more importantly, I celebrate the children and significant others out there that don’t stop asking us.  Asking what they can do to remind us we’re special, even when we have doubt.  To the single moms, to the wives, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, besties, teenagers, tweens, toddlers, babies, everyone in all shapes, sizes, and families of different dynamics – Thank you.  To my Wife Unit, the Teenager, The Warrior, Little Miss – all of you have taught me more than all the world could put together. So, Happy Father’s day to each of you and I love you, no matter how far the moon is…