My Third Father’s Day

Sunday marks my third father’s day. I had no idea what I was doing for the first two and, it seems, little more this time around. But the kid keeps growing anyway.

I don’t care what anyone says. The first three months are hard. You’re not getting any sleep, and the kid isn’t walking, talking, or even giving you an occasional laugh or a smile. But then things pick up.

Teddywas an early talker and a late walker. Imagine that! The genes are strong with this one. Well, kid, welcome to sports writing!

He’s learned more in the past year than I have in the past ten. He’s already using adjectives and adverbs, and whenever a let a swear word slip, he can repeat it with remarkable accuracy. Hallelujah!

It’s been even more interesting getting to know him. You realize pretty early on that this small person in your home is not simply a combination of you and your wife, but someone new to the universe – with his own personality that unfolds every day.

One night after we finished reading, I looked right into his eyes, and said, “I love you sooo much.”

He stared right back at me, and said, “Love.”

Awww, I thought. How sweet.

Then he added. “Cars. Trucks. Both!” In case there was any question.

The other day I asked him if I could have a bite of his macaroni and cheese. “No,” he said, his eyes fixed on the TV.

So then I sidled up to him on the couch, enjoying this game, and whispered, “Teddy, can I have a bite of your mac and cheese?”

He glanced at me, smiled, and then whispered, “No, you cannot.”

But he almost always says “Please,” “Thank you,” and “Yourrrr welcome!” And when he clocks the bridge of my nose with my own phone, he looks sincerely concerned, and asks, “Are you okay? Can I help?”

I don’t just love him. I like him. But I haven’t told him this yet, because a friend warned me what happened when he told his four-year old daughter,  “I don’t just love you. I like you.”

His daughter let that sink in, then said, “I like Mommy.”

Jack Harbaugh famously told his kids, “Attack this day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind!” Well, our kid does. When you give him something as simple as a harmonica or even a sucker, he says, “Oh, man!”

And when he sees me walk in to his room in the morning, his face breaks into the world’s biggest smile, and he says, “Daadddeeeeee!”

No one has ever been that excited to see me before, and no one ever will again – including him. I’m saving that recording for when he’s in high school, and I need to remember how he used to greet me. I have no illusions.

When you have a kid it’s almost impossible not to look ahead to the next thing – whether it’s talking, walking, toilet-training, reading, riding a bike, or going to school. And before you know it, they’re off to New York or Chicago.

Another friend, whose sons are in their forties, asked me, “YouknowabouttheTerribleTwos? They don’t end.”

If only that were true.

 

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11 comments Leave a comment  

  • Vance Shutes June 15, 2018 at 5:20 am

    Happy Father’s Day, my friend.

    Reply
  • Maryan Mastey June 15, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Thanks, John, for this. I know that you are an amazing Dad. You took such good care of our sons when they played for you, and we parents are grateful.

    So happy for you and for your wife that you have the wonderful experience of parenthood. It’s the best occupation. Yes, it’s challenging and exhausting, but sooo rewarding.

    Happy Father’s Day!!

    Maryan Mastey

    Reply
  • l kelleher June 15, 2018 at 11:13 am

    Happy Pops Day John ‼️ This was awesome – sounds like you are an early adapter 🤹‍♂️ Keep all hose balls in the air‼️ #teddy=firstrounddraftchoice

    Reply
  • Robert Martens June 15, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for preaching to the choir, Bakes. It’s always fun to hear the stuff from yet another angle.

    Enjoy the ride. It remains a treat to treasure even decades later.

    Reply
  • J. Fle June 15, 2018 at 11:33 am

    There is more! I asked a group of coworkers once, “When do your children quit draining your wallet?”

    They all started laughing!

    Reply
  • Peggy Totin June 15, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Message (Required)That tribute to fatherhood is so heartfelt and heartwarming. Thank you for expressing such a beautiful message about your son. We have three daughters and they all dote over their dad. Happy Father’s Day to you!

    Reply
  • Your name (Required)\Paul Helber June 15, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Bakes-
    Next round is grandkids ….another joyful time !
    prh

    Reply
  • Mike King June 15, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    Message (Required)happy fathers day Prime Cut! Before you know it he’s getting married! My daughter picked out her wedding dress today! Enjoy every day. They grow up so fast!

    Reply
  • Merritt ( Lott) scheffler June 15, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Everyday is fathers day. Everyday is mothers day. We is, it, EVERY DAY. It’s good. Glad you get to enjoy.

    Reply
  • JACK AND DORISA HAMMYour name (Required) June 16, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Message (Required)
    HAPPY FATHERS DAY JOHN !!!

    IT SOUNDS AS THOUGH YOU HAVE SIRED A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK. THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD AS
    BEAUTIFUL AS RAISING A CHILD. CHERISH THOSE YEARS, AS THEY GROW UP AND LEAVE HOME ALL TOO
    QUICKLY.

    YOUR FAVORITE SPARTANS.

    JACK AND DORISA

    Reply
  • Bill Hettling June 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Happy Father’s Day John. No truer words. Great blog today. Just finished “the Best of Bacon”. Loved it! While I have read several of the vignettes before, it was great to experience them again. The stories in, “confessions of an idiot” had me laughing out loud on my last flight back to Phoenix. Hope to see you soon in Scottsdale at the Phoenix U of M Club!

    Reply

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