I sure saw a lot of best dads in the world praised on Facebook yesterday. Maybe it’s a guy thing, or a perceived guy thing, but I don’t remember a lot of that kind of comparisons on Mother’s Day. Maybe people didn’t want to offend other moms or maybe they knew that their mom was the best but didn’t feel the need to crow about it. If seems like Father’s Day is when the comparatives and superlatives are flaunted.
I’ve never been that competitive. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m humble. If I was I wouldn’t post this every week. But I don’t usually feel the need to one-up others or compete for a winning status. If could be self-esteem issues. I don’t even like playing checkers, much less with my son because he beats me nearly every time. But it could also be that I just grew up that way.
When I was very young one evening I was having trouble sleeping. When my dad checked on me I told him that the traffic in the street was making too much noise and to do something. There comes a time in a young man’s life when he learns his dad can’t do everything. That evening, my dad told me that he couldn’t go out in the road and make the cars be quiet. It wasn’t until right then that I even considered that. Of course he couldn’t. I don’t think that was a particularly courageous statement admitting such a limitation. I think that is what most dads would have said. But it still stuck with me.
For most of my childhood, my dad served two churches. He kept busy with meetings, visitations and church related things. But I never felt neglected. If he needed to drive to the hospital for visiting, he would oftentimes take me along. He made himself available for Cub Scout projects.
Sometimes he had meetings off-island. He even needed to fly to the U.S. Mainland at least once a year. And he telephoned and wrote postcards. I still remember talking on the phone with him one day. He told me how they had had scrambled eggs every morning for breakfast. Just before I handed the phone off he told me: “Hey, I’ve been bragging about you.” I will never forget that.
Today I’m a dad. One of the things most important to me is spending time with my kids. If I need to run errands I rarely go alone. I do like my alone time and try to indulge myself there when I can. But most times it just feels right to have one or more of my kids with me, even just for a quick trip to the store. It just feels right, as if it was modeled to me and made into who I am today.
I think I understand a little of the “World’s Best Dad” attitude when I consider it enough. In my world, there were other influences that could have shaped me. But someone in my world instilled in me some solid values about loving one’s children and being there for them. I did have, in my world, the world’s best dad.