When it comes to work and my duties there, I have always had a certain amount of confidence in myself and my abilities. When it comes to being a Dad.......well - that is a different story altogether. Maybe the oft-used axiom is appropriate here: "You can fool some of the kids some of the time; you can fool all of the kids some of the time; but you can't fool all of the kids all of the time." The operative word here is probably "fool". However, every once and awhile (sort of like that train ride Emily described in a recent blog about her marriage - the one from Pres. Hinckley, I believe) you get that glimpse between the peaks, that view through the trees, that reflection on still waters, or that awe-inspiring sunset - and you have that sudden rush of gratitude and insight. You still know you fall awfully short of expectations - but just for a moment you realize just how wonderful a family can be and that maybe.....just maybe, a few of the things you did (or didn't do) may have turned out all right.
I guess I had one of those moments recently for Father's Day - and I just needed to say thanks to some wonderful kids who made it such a memorable occasion. First, to return home - after multiple weekends on the road - to find a finished play set in the backyard - that was pretty awesome. Many thanks to Joe for working with me to get it started (and Dacia for moral support) - and double thanks to Alan and Jen (and Buggy and Topher) - but particularly Alan - for finishing the project. It looks great; Rachel loves it; and Dad loves it being out there finished! (I was already imagining her going through the entire summer using the slide propped up on the deck!)
Then there was the dinner. Since we were out of town on Father's Day, all the kids and families (with one notable exception - ahem) were over for a great dinner and even better evening with the family - which I have come to particularly love and look forward to. (By the way, I highly recommend the book Buggy gave me: The Dark Summit by Nick Heil - a fascinating book about Mt. Everest's history and a particularly troubling year on the mountain in 2006.)
It didn't end there. After I returned from another trip, Dacia invited me over, primarily to get the promised Father's Day gift. I suspected some small item they had ordered, but not arrived in time. I was in for a surprise. It was a beautiful book (I mean.....with me on the cover....would there be any other way to describe it??).....about Me! Obviously, an enormous amount of time, effort, energy and coordination had gone into this - and I love it! Many, many thanks to all of you for all you put into having this for me and for the things your wrote - and especially to Emily and Dacia for, no doubt, countless hours of designing, making layouts....and who knows what else that is part of such a project. I really appreciate it.
It is not that this year was any particular revelation - but it certainly reinforced what I already knew; I have a wonderful family, great and gifted kids, and have been blessed in unimaginable ways. Thank you.
So....for whoever thinks they can "run a family" - think again!