“That’s My Dad!”
We were watching Thor for the umpteenth time the other day and he told my wife, “my Dad is bigger than Thor!”
On Thanksgiving he was helping me put up Christmas lights at his Grandma’s house. One of the necessary steps in doing so is to throw an outdoor extension cord over the roof. I threw it, and as it landed on the other side I could hear him tell his cousins, with a certain amount of pride in his voice, “My Dad threw that.”
Lately, he’s been joining me in the garage when I do my weight training. I’ll have him count my reps for me, and then ask him if it was good. He has been lifting a bit with me as well. I’ll hear him say “one more, Dad!” and you know I do everything I can for that last rep.
I have taken him to watch strongman competitions in person on multiple occasions. In fact, we were lucky enough to spend a bit of time with professional strongman Brad Dunn once. And from time to time we watch World Strongman competitions on TV. As we were watching one day, I heard him tell my wife, “Dad can do that.” I didn’t correct him.
Later, after I tucked him in to bed, my wife and I were downstairs talking.
“You know, he sees you as big as the strongmen that are competing.”
I guess I had aways got a hint of the sense of pride in his voice when I hear him say “that’s my Dad.” However, when I heard my wife say it as plain as day, it really stuck with me.
Not only do I need to be the strong man my son holds me to be, I also need to be a man of compassion, a good man, a kind man, and a man who isn’t afraid to show his love and his vulnerability. In other words, a true man, with true strength.
One of my goals in life is to live up to the image my son has of me when he says with a certain amount of pride “That’s MY Dad!” And, I expect it will be a goal of mine till my last breath. In my mind, that is just a territory that comes with being worthy of the name Dad.