Father’s Day. It’s a second-rate holiday compared to Mother’s Day, which is a much grander celebration all around. Shortchange mom on Mother’s Day and you’re in trouble. Dads don’t really care.
So, I was asked the other day what I want for Father’s Day. As usual, I answered, “Nothing.”
And anyway, I’ve already gotten the best gift a father could have: two great sons.
They’re both fine, smart people — and even at their young age, they’ve accomplished important things, especially in the commitment they’ve shown to a purpose bigger than themselves.
My older son took a year off from law school when he was deployed with his infantry company to Afghanistan. There they patrolled a landscape he likens to Tatooine in Star Wars — right down to the troublemakers roaming the desert like Tusken Raiders.
My younger son just graduated from Marine recruit training at Parris Island. We all have a mental image of what that’s like from the movies, but what they were subjected to every day sounds like it was much, much more challenging.
I’ll be honest, I tried to talk him out of it, attempting to convince him on going to college first. How about ROTC, I said, or the National Guard? You can serve and go to school at the same time. Nope. And while may of the newly minted Marines he graduated with will now go off to learn skills like repairing helicopters, he’s pursuing a much more traditional skill: that of the infantryman. That’s the job he chose.
When I was that age, what sort of big decisions did I make? Whether to study for an exam or go to dollar pitcher night at Goober’s in Plattsburgh. Yes, I chose Goobers.
So, on Father’s Day I celebrate the boys who made me a father, and who as men, make me proud as hell.