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Dad’s Day

June 18, 2011


(Photo: Three generations of Christopher Willistons)

Forget Father’s Day.

If there is one thing that is abundantly clear, it’s that almost any old shlub can Father a child (I’ll assume that we’re both up to speed on the biology that makes this statement true).

Fathers are nothing to celebrate.

Dads are where its at. What we really need, is Dad’s Day.

Everyone has a father. I am one of the blessed who can say I have a Dad. Thus, in honor of the man who is my Dad and in challenge to the Dad I strive to be for my kids, I offer this small discourse on what makes Dads worth celebrating.

Dads know everything…sort of. The other day, Michelle was having a contentious conversation with our five year old, Emily. I can’t remember what the topic was, but, no matter what response Michelle offered, Emily pressed forward with questions like, “Why,” or “How do you know?” Finally, exasperated, Michelle responded, “Because, Emily, Mom and Dad know everything.”

From the back seat came a lie believed by anyone who has a Dad, “Um, no Mom, Daddy knows everything,” Emily said.

Without missing a beat, Michelle responded, “Yeah, well Dad tells me.”

Game. Set. Match. Point. Done.

I have rarely, if ever, asked a question of my Dad to which he didn’t offer an answer. It took a long time, but I eventually realized that, even if he didn’t know the correct answer, it didn’t mean he couldn’t offer a reasonable sounding alternative.

This is the beauty of Dads. They don’t have to be right. They just have to act like they know, like they’re some all-knowing, unassailable being of the universe. That’s what we want them to be, isn’t it? Thus, we are happy to give them leeway when they help create the illusion for us.

Dads are brave. They stare down spiders and jump off the high dive without a moment of hesitation.

When I was a kid, our alarm system once went off in the middle of the night. I lay in my bed, terrified, peeking out from under the covers. A few harrowing moments passed by. I heard footsteps in the hallway coming towards my room. In bursts my Dad wearing nothing but a pair of boxer briefs and yielding a 2-iron. He moved with eerie stealth, checking to make sure all was well before moving forward with his SWAT-like sweep of the house. Now, I had seen my fair share of action movies in my day but, on that night, Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Segal had nothing on my Dad.

That’s just how Dad’s roll. They protect the family from all brands of harm and rise to any challenge, using just the gift’s God gave them… or the closest golf club.

Dads are counter-cultural. Our culture laughs at Dads. They laugh at men who turn their back on the rampant pursuit of power, wealth and a constant line of women. In television and movies, Dads are oafish, emasculated, man-children whipped into driving the family mini-van.

Dads, however, are not intimidated by the taunts. They dance like fools, sit on the floor for tea parties, make it to practice on time and never let on that there are a million other things demanding their attention.

Dads are unselfish, knowing that the 5:00a.m. flight might hurt like heck in the morning, but catching it means having one more evening at the dinner table tonight. They are everything that culture tells them they aren’t supposed to be but everything that culture needs.

If only there were more of them out there.

To my Dad, Chris Williston V, on Dad’s Day, 2011. Thanks, not just for contributing to the creation of my life, but for making it such an incredible one to live. I’ll never stop looking up to you.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Chess Griffin permalink
    June 18, 2011 11:27 pm

    Great, great, post, Chris. As a fellow father (two boys, 5 and 9), thanks for sharing. 😉

  2. June 19, 2011 6:31 pm

    Great post (which I found via ACNM; I can’t remember if we’ve met in person or not)! I second your comment about “dads” versus “fathers.” Then again, my sister and definitely poked fun at my dad today, but only because we know he likes to laugh as much as we do!

  3. Ryan permalink
    July 4, 2011 8:05 pm

    Excellent post, sir. I could agree more. I hope to be a dad, one day!

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