A Special Dad’s Day Post from Kermy

My father, Kermit, wrote this short piece about Father’s Day for the local paper.  I don’t know much about being a parent, but all of the sudden I’m surrounded by people who do. This one is for all the papas out there. Happy Father’s Day!

(For the record, my sister was the emergency room queen – I was the projectile vomiter.)

***

While digging through the debris of a four year old move I came across a treasure chest of family kid lore.

Old photographs in envelopes and banded bundles were jumbled in with report cards, athletic letters, homemade birthday, Mothers Day and Fathers Day cards. Drawers full of the stuff had been dumped into the box in the rush of packing.

I’ve never been good at sorting things like this. I read. I fondle each precious artifact and get lost in the drama of a child’s first trip to the emergency room, the slapstick awfulness of projectile vomiting, and the joy of watching a determined little girl with a bloody knee ride without training wheels for the first time. Memories take over. If my wife didn’t decide I was shirking some obligation and drag me back into the present I might be stuck in those happy yesterdays until sometime next week, Or dinner time, whichever came first.

In that big box I found a Fathers Day card our eldest daughter had carefully printed in asymmetrical, mostly backward, wavering letters, undoubtedly delivered with a huge brown eyed smile, a hug and a sweet little kid kiss. I found another from our youngest with her signature hand made fake hallmark insignia on the back. I found piles of team pictures.

I thought about all those years of helping my wife coach baseball. (I got to be the good cop) I relived the endless hours of soccer, tackle football, hockey, basketball, cross country, volleyball, track, proms, school elections, birthday and Halloween parties and on and on. It made me tired just thinking about it all.

There are a number of things in my life I would do very differently or not at all if I had the chance. My girls, my wife and all those hours and hours spent as an over enthusiastic spectator, or coach, or Santa Claus, or the “house of terror garage” creator / operator are things I wouldn’t change for the world.

None of us gets to be a perfect father. But kids are like baseball fans that fill the stadium for the 105th loss. How can you not love fans like that? How could you not glow like 500 watt bulb when a six year old gives you a giant hug and tells you you’re the best dad in the whole world?

Fathers day is almost here again. These days the cards are purchased but the sentiments are not. The kids will celebrate their dad. This dad will celebrate getting to be their father. It remains the hardest, most wonderful job I have ever had. It’s As varied as a child’s moods and imagination, as difficult as disciplining someone you just want to hug.

~Kermit Swift
(aka Kermy, Pops, or Bee-Ba)

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One comment

  1. Guy Smith

    Just the other day I seen a father with three little girls in hand, I though to myself I would give anything to have mine at that age again… great story tiered up

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