Happy Fathers Day

Father’s Day is exactly what you make of it, just like any other day. I told myself that this morning when I woke up and could feel the devil dragging me down. I was sluggish and grumpy. The kids were fighting, my wife was at work and I didn’t feel like doing much of anything.

This is the every day struggle, if you let it be. Some days are easier than other’s but again, any day is exactly what you make of it. So although I was tired and grumpy and lazy I knew that I needed only accomplish one mission today; we needed to build the ninja pirate fort.

So I slapped myself into action and we started the day by heading over to my dad’s house to take a picture with him and my son’s. It’s our one and only Father’s Day tradition going ten years strong now. After that we set off to gather pallets and miscellaneous wood scrap to build the fort.

For some dads this effort would prove to be no obstacle I’m sure, but I’m damned incompetent when it comes to swinging a hammer.

“Oh well,” I told myself, “this is a perfect opportunity to get better.”

I had the boys hold the pallets in place while I nailed them down. Then they mostly just watched while I reinforced the structure and put a floor down. I must have smacked myself in the thumb a dozen times which meant it was an invaluable education in colorful linguistics for them today.

We got the sail mounted literally moments before a storm rolled in over the top of us and started pelting the ground with marble sized hail. It was a hail storm that the three year old accidently got caught out in for a moment when he wandered out the upstairs deck and down the stairs looking for me after I sent them inside. He’s ok, though perhaps a little more weary of the dangers of dark skies.

My wife got home from work then and we all watched the storm before crashing into an unexpected power nap. I awoke for the second time today realizing that I needed to buy food and cook it. The weather had flipped once more and it was now blue skies and sunshine so I got some chicken and corn on the cob and grilled it up. Dinner was awesome, we all ate like champs.

That’s when the storm came back.

The weather meant that we couldn’t play in the fort so we picked a movie to watch and parked ourselves down in the living room as a family. Five minutes into School of Rock the power went out. We waited, like you do, expecting that it would turn back on any minute. Finally I called the power company and got the message that it would likely be out for at least a couple of hours.

Historically, we don’t do great with power outages. We tried to play board games once and that’s when I realized I hate board games. But again, a day is only what you make of it. So we lit some candles and I played some guitar and we just kind of enjoyed the peacefulness of it all. That’s when something magical happened.

The kids were obviously growing restless so I set my guitar down and I said, “Who want’s to hear the story of their birth?”

Who doesn’t like hearing stories about themselves? So we sat by candlelight and we told them each one by one the story of what happened on the days that they were born. Then they started asking questions and before we knew it we were talking about our old houses and how their mother and I met and recalling the tale of when my oldest was two years old and he peed on his baby brothers head in the shower….

Finally, when the story telling reached a kind of natural apex, when all of the emotional spectrum had been covered and it felt like the perfect place to stop, the power came back on. It was a God wink moment, a serendipitous sort of series of events that couldn’t have been more perfect if I had played any role in planning it.

By then we were all pretty relaxed and also relieved that we had power so we turned the TV back on and restarted School of Rock. My oldest boys managed to make it through the whole movie with me and went to bed right at midnight.

I reflected on the day before I started to write this blog and I couldn’t help but smile. A day is only what you make of it and a life is only the day you have. Today, or rather yesterday was Father’s Day and I really wanted to make it something special. It started with a fort and it ended with something more wonderful than I could have expected.