I was dreading being out of town for Father’s Day. How sad to be far away from my little cadre of kiddos and my wife on a day reserved for family. But this year I learned, 72 hours before the day even began, that the best part of being a Dad isn’t the holiday in June. It’s the 364 days that happen on each side of it.
I’ve been away from home a lot lately. It’s been a great month with some excellent results and great travel but has kept me far from the family. And even though they never complain and are so supportive, you can tell it takes a toll, and it was important to re-connect. So before leaving for the airport, I turned off my phone and told the kids we’d have a special evening where they could choose a Dad-kid activity. Now this is a dangerous prospect, of course, but what my kids chose this time was fairly benign. Their edict was for a non-stop 60-minute marathon of UNO. Good times!
Now I am not an UNO expert, but I married into a family that loves its board games (and they are good at it!) so I have learned from experience about how long an average UNO game should take. Part way through our marathon I realized that something was amiss. We’d go around and around and nobody seemed to win. At a certain point my 6-year-old (who is not exactly a pro when it comes to keeping secrets) turned her cards to me and showed me a stunning hand of wild cards, “draw-4″ and “draw-2″ cards, and “skip cards.” But she hadn’t used a single one of them against me. I explained to her the rules and how she could be playing some of these high-octane, very powerful cards. ”I know that, Dad! was her answer. She continued, “But this is your Father’s Day party, and if I use these cards you’ll lose. I want you to be the winner on Father’s Day.”
What a sweetie. And what an important reminder about Father’s Day. The fathers in my life, each of them a hero in one way or another, deserve to feel like a winner on Father’s Day. But they know, as do I, that just being around the ones we love can make us feel like a winner. But I will be thinking about that UNO card this Father’s Day, and will be thinking about what extra steps I can take to ensure that the fathers around me know that they are appreciated, honored and loved.
Happy Father’s Day.