June 21, 2009 was Father’s Day, and also my parents’ wedding anniversary. So this was an even more special Father’s Day because it reminded me that this was the day, 56 years ago, that my family actually began.
This year, we didn’t do anything unique as a family, but we did some things that we all enjoy and that’s what made it great. We went to church and the message was centered on fathers. Pastor Singletary had a large vase of water at the altar and he asked everyone to come up front and, thinking of your father, place a pebble in the water. As everyone got through, you saw all these pebbles that were at the bottom of the vase, representing a foundation that our dads had given us. It was very meaningful to me, as Lauren and I had just come back from our trip to Yellowstone National Park. While we were there we commented on how we wished we had been able to take our dads on that trip. Both of them enjoyed the outdoors so much – they would have loved it. So often though, we take those things for granted, feeling our loved ones will always be with us. Both of our dads have passed away, but the moment made us promise to do more with our relatives – older and younger family members. We need to maximize the opportunities while we have them with us.
After church, my family took me to Cracker Barrel and we had a fun dinner. Our kids enjoy going through the gift shop, playing with the oversized checkers and sitting on the rocking chairs. After that, we went home and swam in the pool while the kids helped Lauren make strawberry shortcake for me. It was nothing fancy, but just fun family time. The very thing we both remember doing with our dads.
That’s probably the biggest message that All Pro Dad tries to point out – time with your kids is so important. It doesn’t have to be special, spectacular things. Most of the time, in fact, it will be pretty routine. But those are the things that memories are built on, and the times that I remember most about my dad – playing catch in the yard, going to Northlawn Gardens in Jackson and feeding the ducks, driving to get ice cream; simple things, but they leave lasting memories. And that’s what we did today.