Confession. The success of this operation has very little to do with me. Boy Mom, yes. But I’d be sunk, and I mean really, really sunk, without the boy dad. He is my hero, to be sure.
This is not just Father’s Day sentimentality. Believe me, this tribute is long over-due. And hopefully it’s not the first mention. If you’ve been reading between the lines you should know by now the depth of my gratitude. The measure of my indebtedness.
Perhaps the most profound thing I’ve learned over these past six months is the true meaning of sacrifice. And not mine, but his. Kyle’s. I’ve said it before. My own ability to die to self has been tested and proved lacking. Not his. Not lacking, that is. His is the real deal.
He lays himself down for all of us, all day every day, and sometimes long into the night. When he’d like to lay himself down in bed, more often than not he’s burning the midnight oil with one last man-talk, or one more video game. Not for his sake, but theirs. And finally when he comes to bed quiet and weary his dad brain is still firing long into the night. On those nights he gets back up and pulls on his sneakers, slips out into the dark to have one more whispered conversation with God. Asking for help, mostly. Wisdom. Grace. Sanity.
He is so determined to enter their world, and this isn’t easy. Five boys, each so unique. And this boy dad wants to know each one. No matter how foreign. No matter how hard to reach. He’s relentless, not giving up.
Recently he’s taken up fishing and car shows. Invested a small fortune in Rubik’s Cubes. Spent an afternoon removing brakes from BMX bikes. Searched the internet and greater metro for the perfect bike park (and as far as we can tell the best option is still just up the road.) Taken countless trips to the gym to shoot baskets. Hundreds of baseballs pitched in the cage. Evenings spent watching bad rec soccer. One more guitar purchase for graduation. A family package of new smart phones. A cable add-on to watch Colombian soccer. And no wonder they think Dad’s supplies are endless.
Which of course, they’re not.
He works three days a week from his home office, just to be close to the action. And those home days used to be quiet, a welcome break from a long commute. But the truth is, lately the commute is a convenient escape, and I feel quite sure any other man on the planet would opt for the long drive to freedom. But not this dad. He chooses home.
He chooses to stay close for them, and for me. He knows I need him, too. I need his nearness. The safety of his presence. One mom versus too many boys, and I wish it wasn’t so, but I am too easily overwhelmed. Even on his days away he checks in often. Wanting to be sure we’re all okay.
He makes me think of Paul, the apostle. Pouring himself out like a drink offering for the rest of us. Giving it all, to the last drop.
Happy Father’s Day, Kyle. You’re amazing, and I love you. And all these boys, they love you, too. Even if they don’t say it. Even if they call you Grandpa and Gordo. What they mean is — Dad you’re awesome. Thanks for everything. You’re our hero.