Day 1,363 – Thankful for Spending Father’s Day with My Boys

Watch out world, this one could go in one of MANY different directions. Instead of force fitting my blog into its title I’ll let it write itself and then figure out the big bold letters on top.

I don’t know that I could’ve scripted a much better Father’s Day than this one.

In many ways it actually started yesterday morning for me and the boys and I met up with Steve for our $10 Dollar Store challenge. Each of us had a budget of $10 (plus tax) to buy the supplies we would need to live as comfortably as possible out in the woods for 24 hours. Outside of clothes, sunscreen, bug spray and water we weren’t allowed to bring anything not included in our $10 budget at the dollar store. We love watching Alone on TV and this was a way for us to reality test parts of it.

After hiking through the woods for almost four hours we found a perfect spot to set up camp. Each of us built a shelter and we each built very different shelters. There was a lot of positive support and encouragement all around. We helped each other catch flaws in our plans, helped to share resources, and worked together to solve unexpected challenges. I don’t know that I’ve heard the word “learn” or a variant of it mentioned so many times in a short period of time. Talk about a growth mindset that made me smile wide.

When the sun rose before six in the morning I woke up to eat smiling face of Gavin wishing me “Happy Father’s Day!” Dominic did the same the firs moment we had alone. We broke camp, headed home, and got cleaned up.

The boys presented me with the most epic Father’s Day present they’ve ever made for me – a toolbox with drawers! Dominic created an awesome toolbox and added in drawers of his own design. Gavin added some touches including the wood burning on the front and sides. I was amazed at what a great job they did with it. The only thing they received any help on was using the table saw; everything else they did themselves. To see them build something like this on their own made this papa so very proud.

We got a nice family hike in. We ate lunch as a family. We played a board game. The boys and I played a card game. We ate supper as a family. Throughout the day we’ve had so much time together as family and I’m thankful for every moment of it.

That thought takes me back to last night. I wrote one of the shortest blogs ever as I wanted to stay present with the boys. It was interesting, Gavin was asking about how many straight days I was on and it reminded me that it was right to take a little time to blog. At the same time I knew that part of the reason I blog is to remind me to be thankful for what I have. Almost everything I could ever want was there in that present moment with my boys. Talk about a weird catch-22. Break from the present to blog about appreciating it or stay in the present but then risk breaking the habit that has helped train me to be in and thankful for the present.

After a quick moment of thinking through it I opted to keep the streak alive but know that the words I wrote were not what was important, the way I was living them with the boys was. Tonight I realize that one of the reason that I’m savoring this Father’s Day so much is because of the time and presence I’ve had with them over the past 24 hours. I’m thankful I stayed in that present with them for the overwhelming majority of the time and only broke from it for a moment.

Over the past few weeks I’ve talked with several parents of younger children. As we talk and I can hear the tired tone of their voice I share with them, very honestly, that each day with the boys becomes better and better. Over the past day and a half I’m reminded of this more than ever. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be their dad and to spend time with them. I am grateful for the love, fun, challenges, and excitement they bring into my life. There is no question that their presence in my life helps me to be a better person.

Boys, I love you both tremendously, so much so that mere words will never do it justice. I am so proud of the men you are becoming and am so thankful for the relationship and bonds we have built and continue to strengthen each day. I am so thankful to be your “Old Man.” Love you boys!


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