I've been called a lot of things, especially growing up with the last name "Couch." Shane Sofa, Shane Loveseat, Armchair, Hide-a-bed... I've heard them all. And "Shane" rhymes with approximately five thousand, four hundred and seventy three other words in the English language. Someone from my childhood used to chant, "Shane McBain, sleeps in the rain, and is a pain, and has no brain." Yeah, real mature, Gramma. Yet, the best way I've ever been addressed is "Dad."
I've always wanted to be a father. I became an uncle at the age of 7 so I pretty much grew up with nieces and nephews coming into my life ever since then. I loved being an uncle, so I knew I would love being a dad when my time came. I was right.
When my kids were little, it was a gift to me to walk in the door after being at the office and hearing their little voices cry out with genuine excitement, "Daddy!"as they rushed me for hugs.
One thing I always looked forward to after becoming a parent was having a conversation with my kids. I wanted to be able to banter with them. I loved the baby years, but I longed for somewhat intelligent discussions. Some of my favorite times were spent walking my firstborn to kindergarten and chatting with her along the way, then picking her up from school and hearing about her day. On one walk home, Julia said, "Dad..." (there's that name), "... I'm writing a story in class. Do you know what the title is?" My guess was, "'My Dad's the Greatest Dad in the Whole World'?" "'The Mermaid With Magical Powers.'" "Oh." (I was close).
I still can't believe I've been blessed with three exceptional children. Sometimes they call for me and say, "Dad?" In that moment, silently and to myself, I relish the fact that I am their dad, that my name is "Dad."
All that being said, Father's Day is my favorite date on the calendar, not necessarily for the gifts and the attention, though that is enjoyed and greatly appreciated. I love the day simply because I have been lucky enough to be a dad. It has been my privilege and honor to change messy diapers, feed, burp, and receive spit up, sit up late at night during sickness, rush to the emergency room, walk to school, go on field trips, attend talent shows, cheer at ball games, pray with and teach Scriptures to, worry about, yell at, cry over, laugh with, miss intensely during travel, apologize to, help with homework and projects, volunteer in classrooms, and all because I have the name of "Dad." For all that, I bless the day that Julia, my "Baby Girl," Ella, my "Sister," and Max, my "Buddy Boy," came into my life and turned my world upside down in the best possible way.
So this Father's Day, I am going to revel in my moniker... "Dad," because I got to be one. Lucky and blessed me.
(For another time, a post about growing up with the first name "Tracy.")