Until recently, I never really understood what it must be like to be a parent.
Let alone a father.
Father's Day is set for Sunday. I don't have children yet, but my fiancée and I recently took her two nieces on a trip for a couple of days.
It was an experience.
Sure, there were moments of lost patience. But for the most part, we held our own.
Now I can honestly say I know how my dad must have felt from time to time.
When I was younger, my sister and I tried our father's patience on a regular basis. I think that's something that children just do. They try to see how far they can go. What is the limit?
Well, there is no limit with children. They're still learning.
But parents, and fathers, do have a limit on patience.
And I can remember my father's limit was hit a few times. But he always went out of his way to be the best he could possibly be.
My father was always telling me, "There's no manual on how to be the perfect parent."
There is no manual. You're learning as you go, just like children.
My father surely lost his patience behind closed doors. I know I did from time to time in only a couple of days. But in his situation, we're talking about more than 30 years.
He's been a father for that long. Both his children are older than 30. He now has grandchildren as my sister is the proud mother of two little girls.
Fathers sometimes get the last helping of items when it comes to parenting. They tend to be quite busy and don't get to spend as much time with their children as they'd like.
My dad worked endlessly -- and still does. I don't think he'd really know what to do if he didn't work.
Sure, he's taken vacations, but that was a limited time. To the best of my knowledge, my dad never took time off from work just to take time off from work. Just to get away from the busy doldrums of daily life.
He never sleeps in. He's always up before dawn, feeding two dogs, getting them ready for the day.
He's usually taken his shower and is off to work before my mom gets out of bed.
This sounds quite familiar.
I have found myself in the same precarious position in the last year.
I get up 99.9 percent of the time before my fiancée. I feed both of our dogs in the morning and end up in the shower before her. I wait to leave the house around the same time she does, but there are similarities.
I always used to think that I'd never want to be just like my parents.
But now, I can't think of a better person to model my life after.
I just wanted to take this time to thank my dad for everything he has done for me.
On Sunday, you should too.
If you can, take him to dinner. Or better yet, fire up the grill and set up a cookout. Spend the afternoon with him. Talk about whatever.
Just being with him will mean the world to all of you.
You only get so many moments in life. Take advantage of them while you can.
I'll see you Sunday dad.