Today is Father’s Day, and as usual, the kids scrambled to find a way to show Matt how much they love him. Of course, they made him a cake, and I’ll make him his favorite dinner. Still, the kids have been scratching their heads, because they’d like to find something to give to the dad they love so much. The problem is, Matt’s one of those guys who says he doesn’t want or need anything – and means it.
He’s also the type of man who networks and barters with his friends. He has a friend for just about every conceivable service one could imagine. So saying we search everywhere to find a gift for him is an understatement.
One year, I came up with a brilliant idea. Like many men, Matt likes beer. So I bought a beer making kit, complete with hops and all the other stuff that, when combined, make beer. He loved it, and began his micro brewing with sheer glee. The kids and I were thrilled because it meant we’d have something we could get for him - supplies for his new hobby.
And that’s when he decided to add beer making kits and supplies to things he sold in our store.
Then along came a neat little Web site called eBay. Matt was quickly hooked. Before long, we had all kinds of gadgets coming in. To make matters worse, I have a difficult time keeping up with technology, so half the electronics Matt was giddy about looked like clutter to me. Honestly, I have to have someone show me which remote turns on which device.
What that means is that I haven’t watched television alone in the family room for years.
Another gift buying problem has arisen in the form of the Web site, “Woot.” It has a single amazing deal every day, and Matt’s hooked. I wanted to buy him a Leatherman multi purpose tool, when he announced that he’d just bought an identical (but off brand) tool from good old Woot. I wanted to get him a drill. Woot beat me to it. He also introduced a handy little tablet called “Chumby.” As far as I’m concerned, it’s a cute little dust gatherer that gives the date, time, and weather. Matt assures me it’s capable of much more. As long as he knows what it does and enjoys it, that’s all that matters to me.
One year, I noticed that he expressed a great deal of interest in Amazon’s new reading device called “Kindle.” I promptly bought it, but there was still some time before I was going to give it to him. I held my breath for weeks, hoping and praying that he hadn’t been given one, stumbled upon one, traded for one, or purchased an off brand version on Woot. Thankfully, it was a big hit.
He admitted later that if it hadn’t been right before Christmas, he had seen one on eBay and almost bought it.
The bottom line, though, is that Matt seldom needs anything and if he wants it, he wheels and deals for it. But the kids love their dad, and want so much to buy or make him something special every Father’s Day. As far as they're concerned (and I concur), he’s the best.
He’s the one who taught the girls (and is currently teaching Boy) how to drive. It was decided early on that this was a much better arrangement than having me along. I had a hard time containing my gasps as I threw my hands in front of my eyes. I also had a penchant for stepping on the imaginary passenger side brake pedal. I almost put my foot through the floor board and stopped the car Flintstone style.
He’s also the one who fixes things. Remote control broken? Duct tape and dad to the rescue. Computer freeze up? He dismantles it, even though he’s never once taken a computer repair class.
Besides, if he breaks it, he’s got a buddy he can call. That and duct tape, of course.
He’s the guy that goes to Game Stop with them and knows the cool games to buy. He’s the dad who dresses up like a woman for Halloween (even though he has a beard) to the delight of his kids.
He’s the guy they leaned on when I was going through cancer. He’s the rock that has held this family together through diseases and deaths. He’s the man who slays dreamtime dragons, and the occasional human dragon.
The thing is, dads don’t seem to get as much recognition as moms do. It’s sad, because good dads are everywhere, yet we only hear about the bad ones. Most dads are heroes to the children who adore them. We should hear more about them. Still, dads like Matt tend not to complain about the disparity. They don’t fret over receiving gifts or accolades. They just keep loving and taking care of their kids. Without even knowing it, they’re setting an example to future dads everywhere.
So when my girls ask me how they’ll know who to marry, I just smile and say, “Marry the guy who treats you the way daddy treats mommy.”
Happy Father's Day to Matt, father of my children, husband of 24 years, and my own, personal dragon slaying Knight in Shining Armor.
And Happy Father's Day to all you unsung heroes that answer to the name “dad.”
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