Father’s Day in a house full of boys is pretty special. We all wanted to be him and wanted to be his favorite. Now, at the ages of 38, 34, 32, and 24, the only thing that has changed is the fact that 3 of us are now fathers. We still want to be like him, and we still want to be his favorite.
This year is special for me. A year ago, we knew that a baby was on the way, but we didn’t know much else. Helen has completely changed our world. I know that’s a trite thing to say, but it’s true. I give her the first bottle in the morning, so I have to plan the start of my day around that. Rather, I try to plan around that. Whether she wakes up at 5, 6, 7, or 8, Daddy has to be there with breakfast. It’s a special time, and I hope that she will always want to eat breakfast with me. The rest of the day, she’s on my mind. If I get a break, I run home to see her. If there’s a doctor’s appointment for her, I put it on my work schedule. Her presence affects everything in our life.
Father’s Day will be doubly special this year. My parents are both United Methodist ministers. I grew up in the church and so will Helen. As Methodists, we practice infant baptism. This Sunday, my parents will both be in town to participate in the service of baptism for my firstborn. Typing that sentence nearly made me cry. This is a very special moment as a Christian, both for she and I. Several years from now, there will come a time when she can confirm her baptism.
I remember the day my little brother, Jesse, was baptized. My dad sang Bridge Over Troubled Water in that service. He changed a few of the lyrics, and it felt so powerful for my dad to be singing this song to his little boy. I remember the pride he felt when my brother Tom and I decided that we too were ready to be baptized. He couldn’t wait for us to tell his parents that Sunday at lunch.
This Sunday, when I see my mama and daddy holding Helen, performing the sacrament of baptism, I’ll know that pride I saw in my daddy’s eyes. Erin’s mama, Karen, made her baptism gown with pieces of her wedding dress. It’s going to be a special day for my daughter. All of the attention will be on her, and though she will not remember that day, I won’t forget anything if I can help it. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and her church family will all be there. They will celebrate her with us as my mama and daddy will baptize her in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The best Father’s Day I could ask for.