When I was a kid and people asked me what I wanted to be when I was grown up, I would say: Famous. It was my stock answer and it usually got a laugh.
I didn’t specify what I would be famous for. I figured it would have something to do with acting or writing.
After we got married, Deb and I moved to Toronto in hopes of starting our acting careers. And to be famous. (My goal, not Deb’s.)
But we didn’t get famous. We didn’t even get careers in acting.
After a year or so of half-hearted trying to get acting work, we got some “real” jobs. “Real” in the sense that it was regular, consistent pay. Office work for both of us.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but we had stronger goals of starting a family and being parents. Stronger than my childhood goals.
I wanted to be a Father. A Dad. A Pop.
Another thing that I didn’t realize at the time was how darn lucky we were to be parents.
Lucky to get pregnant. Some of our friends had trouble getting pregnant. Some went through many attempts and medical procedures before getting pregnant. Some others, never got that lucky.
Lucky have three healthy babies. No major illnesses or emergencies. We had one big scare for a week and the occasional visits to emergency. But no cancers. No long term illnesses. No mental health issues.
Lucky to get through three adolescences unscathed. Too many horror stories from other parents that weren’t so lucky…
Lucky to watch three awesome children blossom into three awesome adults.
I feel lucky enough to question if I really need a “Father’s Day”…
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll bask in the perks of Father’s Day. Bring on some delicious food. Give me a free pass to do what I want and excuse me from some of the household chores.
But I’m the guy that gets most of the perks every other day of the year, too.
As my kids were growing up, I got to experience their discoveries. To see the world again through their fresh eyes.
To be the center of the universe for a short time.
To cuddle and tickle and hug with abandon.
To experience so much laughter. A few tears. And a bit of terror every now and then.
I got to live more fully. I still do.
And I got to really know Love. Love so strong, it brings tears to me thinking about it.
It’s wonderful to love people because they exist.
It would be an amazing world if we could love each other the way that most of us love our kids.
Thank you, my wonderful Guzzards! I’m grateful for the three of you every single day!!
© 2021 Peter Gruner