Father’s Day could not have been any better. I consider myself lucky because the “special events” of my Father’s Day are not much unlike a normal Sunday, meaning I get to live it all the time…homemade breakfast, church, lunch on the boys (wink wink), an afternoon of playing different sports and a night cap watching the first two parts of the Boston Celtics-L.A. Lakers 30 for 30, although Leo ended up crashing early.
My favorite part of Father’s Day is watching the excitement on Roman and Leo’s faces as they give me the handmade cards and gifts they worked on so hard. The pride they take in making me happy is priceless; if only they knew I’m proud of them without the gifts. Selfishly I love seeing them get excited, so I let them spoil me. I love being a father, and wouldn’t trade anything in the world for it!
But, Father’s Day isn’t just about me, it’s also about my dad. As usual, he beat me to a morning text; I sent him one back and let him know I’d call later to properly wish him Happy Father’s Day. My dad and I are close, but as I thought about the relationships I hope to have with Roman, Leo and our third son who will be here in October, I couldn’t help but to feel that I’m shortchanging my dad.
I’m fortunate to live 20 minutes away from my parents, and we get to see them every other Sunday for dinner, along with every Tuesday during the week when they watch the boys while my wife and I are at work. So, it’s not that I don’t get to see and talk to him, but the quality of what I give him could be better. I’m not always the best at responding to his morning email–every morning starts with an email wishing me a successful day, and I don’t always offer up a lot of information about what’s going on when we talk on the phone, or grab lunch. Fortunately, these are things that can easily improve, and all they take are a little more effort on my part.
My dad will never complain; I know he enjoys whatever time we spend together because he is the most selfless person I have ever met. This is the man who flew to and from Baltimore every week during my junior year to keep us from having to move, just so my high school basketball career would not be interrupted. That season he missed one game, and he only missed it because it was on a Tuesday. This is also the man who insisted instead of going to my parents house for our Sunday dinner, we stay home to spend Father’s Day together and uninterrupted as a family. The enjoyment I described of Father’s Day with my boys, he sacrificed so my Father’s Day could be better.
My grandfather, another tremendous man and father, has been gone for 24 years. My dad’s Facebook post on Father’s Day recalls some of his fondest memories with him. I know my dad would give anything to have my grandfather back, and I want to make sure I don’t look back with any regrets later in life. So, not only was June 18, 2017 Father’s Day, it also became “Be A Better Son Day”:
- Morning emails will no longer get buried in my inbox.
- Our conversations will be more engaging from my end.
- Phone calls will no longer be cut short because I’m distracted.
- The iPhone will be ignored during family dinners.
- More time on my calendar will be allocated to continue building upon our relationship.
(Don’t worry mom, this goes for you too…I just thought about it more on Father’s Day.)
I know All About Your Benjamins is supposed to be about financial topics, but sometimes we need a reminder there are more important aspects to life than financial security–things money cannot replace. We’ll get back to financial planning and investing soon enough. While I hope all of the dads out there had a memorable Father’s Day, I’m encouraging you to re-evaluate your relationship with your dad. Is it everything you’d want from your own children?
I’ll be making a greater effort to give my dad the relationship I want with my boys, enjoying the memories and laying the groundwork for the future relationships I hope to have with my boys when they are older.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.