On our way to school earlier this week, I started joking around with my son like I do most days.
‘I can’t wait to find out what you’ve got me for Father’s Day,’ I told Jackson.
‘When’s Father’s Day?’ he replied.
‘Oh wow, you’re good,’ I smiled. ‘But I know the truth. I know you’ve been getting up in the middle of the night for the last month, crafting me something with your own hands like Rumpelstiltskin.’
He laughed and said, ‘I haven’t got you anything. I didn’t even knowing it was coming up.’
I glared at him and told him I was having trouble remembering when his birthday was. I try not to be annoying and treat him more like a friend than a son, but we have so much fun together in this mode. We laugh with each other every single day. In fact, I’ve recently committed to starting every morning with laughter, having noticed what a great tone it sets for the entire day ahead.
And that’s our plan for Father’s Day and for every other day of the year: simply to laugh and be happy in each other’s company. I honestly don’t really care about cards or gifts that much at any time of year. I’d always rather share good times with people and express appreciation for what they bring to my life. So I’m flipping this Father’s Day on its head; I want to say ‘thank you’ to my son.
Jackson, I want to thank you for the times you make me smile by referencing ‘the good old days’ as if you’re an old man. You’ll never know happy it makes me feel, especially as I carry so much regret for those ‘old days’ not having been as good as they should have been for you. And yet you’re still so positive and charming about the times that I remember as being tough.
I want to thank you for making our home a happy place to live. For discovering how to play Spotify from your iPad and stream all your favourite tracks through the speakers around the house. It’s really annoying but it fills the house with your personality and it makes you laugh, sing and dance a lot (and those three things will always bring you joy, no matter what else happens in life).
I want you to know how grateful I am for the stories, too. I find myself talking about you all the time. I tell my friends about the things you’ve done and said with such pride. And not even achievements or anything that might make you feel any sort of pressure, just tales of your jokes, comments and seemingly endless wit. You make me far more interesting than I would be without you.
I want to acknowledge you for your confidence and independence, as well. I’m in awe of you. I was nothing like you as a child and I wish I’d had just a touch of your character. I’m sure it’s going to take you a long way, kid.
Thank you, Jackson. I love you so much and I’m proud to be your dad. Even if you only decided to start making my Father’s Day card at 9:45pm on Saturday evening when you should have been in bed.