Monday, June 18, 2007

One Fine Day

It's a simple statement, and it carries a simple sentiment. It's comprised of just three words, takes less than two seconds to say.

Not until they applied to me, not until someone directed those three words to me, did I truly appreciate how much they meant. From Friday through Sunday, everyone from co-workers to close friends, from people passing by in the park to the people who are nearest and dearest to me, wished me these three words.

"Happy Father's Day."

Every time, even if I shrugged them off with a quick "thanks," these three words sent a flurry of memories surging through my mind. In turn, those images from my brief tenure as a dad would make me smile on the inside, sometimes on the outside. Occasionally, I'd get chills. We've all said or heard those three words thousands of times. They now carry a whole new meaning to me:.

She wore her great-grandmother's dress
My first Father's Day was unique, in that it was also the day of my daughter's Baptism. I couldn't have dreamed of a better way to spend it, a better person to whom to defer the spotlight. I don't find the need to make Father's Day a 24-hour homage to me as a parent. I'm just doing what comes naturally, just being me. My father never required that kind of unnecessary attention. After all, my daughter is the reason this day forever carries an added significance in my life. So let her have all of the glory.

I enjoyed the simple things: my wife graciously did most of the straightening up after our guests left. She allowed me to take my daily 15-minute power nap without argument. She didn't even haggle for a second when I asked if it would be alright if we watched the Yankees at night. Not a single, "What else is on?" She's the best. I can't say it enough.

She also played along for the past month with my childish fascination with the greatest fun fact that we learned during Christening class. Did you know that any Catholic can perform a baptism? How cool is that? All you need is some water and a sign of the cross. I'm surprised there isn't a free-for-all of transformations occurring in public more often.



We decided on the traditional Baptism
You know what would increase new members in the church? Take advantage of those hot and humid days in the city when the kids have cracked open a fire hydrant and are splashing around in the street. All it takes is one "I Baptize you in the name of the father, etc..." and bam! You've got a dozen or so instant converts.

Ever since I learned that fact, it's taken all of my willpower NOT to baptize my daughter with the sprayer from the kitchen sink as she's sitting on the counter in her little pod seat. Just a squirt and some hand motions, and we could have avoided all of that expense and energy. But no.

And yes, that was the ONE thing I took from our parents' class in preparation for our daughter's journey in faith. That I can saunter through Times Square on a random Tuesday armed with a fully-loaded super soaker and in a flash, sign people up for the church en masse.

Me & my girls, Father's Day morning
Actually, I did take something else out out of this whole thing. That God does indeed work in mysterious  ways. He has managed to make a wise-cracking cynic, a believer. And He did so by sending me a little angel, a little miracle who has made me a better person, a more selfless person, a person who can't wait to one day hear those three words come from her sweet little mouth. A person who will no doubt melt every time he hears them from her.

God Bless my daughter, always. And thank you, sweetheart, for making Father's Day mean so much more.

1 comment:

  1. Yesterday was "one fine day"!! The mass was lovely -- the priest, a natural speaker, confessed cig smoker, & yodel snacker; the cantor, a fabulous singer, sure to rival any Edwin McCain concert; and the Godparents knew all the anwers!! The brunch was delicious (3 A's must stand for "Accessible", "Animated", and "Awesome"!!) You guys were affable hosts, Penelope simply angelic, and now, on the brink of yet another "3 A's", my only regret is our abrubt departure!! Nevertheless, it was one fine day!

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