As for the dads, most may not have given it much thought. Or at least they may not let on much about it. Yet there may be a moment now and then---in the quiet when they may reflect on how they have done and perhaps on how their children may be changing as they grow. Are they becoming more self-confident? Getting stronger? What about that unexpected moment when the ball landed in an outstretched glove after repeated attempts at the elusive catch? Or the suddenly solo bike ride unassisted by either a fatherly push or training wheels.
Then there is the chorus of wishes for a happy Father's Day and maybe even a little excitement at what your reaction might be when you open the bag or box and find that new pair of shorts or the replacement for the drill having long passed its useful life.
Sometimes, the changes we fathers actually notice show up subtly, in the midst of our day to day routines. Small things around the dinner table or at bedtime when the night light is no longer needed. And then there are the changes that occur when least expected---you know, like when you drop your son or grandson off at school in the morning, when it's your time---just the two of you in that moment when you say goodbye.
Yes, it's a ritual and it's your ritual, which ought to be sacrosanct, right? After all, some of life's moments just seem they should be unalterable. Aren't some experiences simply not to be messed with? Well, as it turns out, even the brief flashes of perfection are subject to change. Enjoy those moments while you can, man...
"When Boys Grow Up"
By Bill Kirk
It happened sometime just last week
When we arrived at school.
For Third Grade boys, a morning hug
Was now no longer cool.
That day we followed our routine
To get to school on time.
Dylan quickly washed and dressed,
Then heard the wall clock chime.
"You'd better hussle--grab your books"
Called Grandma with a sigh!
"The tardy bell will soon sound off,
So, you had better fly!"
Inside the car, we buckled up,
And drove right to the school.
We parked and crossed down at the light,
For that's the safety rule.
We got to class just as the kids
Were set to start their day.
But something different happened then,
Or didn't, I should say.
Instead of giving me a hug,
He shyly waved good-bye,
And whispered, "See you after school."
"OK," was my reply.
As I watched Dyl turn to leave,
I let him have his space;
But, so he'd know that I was there,
I waited just in case.
And then, as if to let me know
That he would be just fine,
He bravely said that at his school
"Just kids can wait in line."
Our hug became a shoulder pat-
Or noogies-just for show.
How quickly had the time arrived
For him to let me go.
They say that growing up is hard,
For boys, and Grandpas, too.
Yet with each change that comes along,
You'll both know what to do.