Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.
Today is a day that men across the United States are granted the freedom to do ''what they want'' for a day, which normally involves the father standing by the grill, making his special Father's Day dinner out in the elements, while the rest of the family toils inside watching television and enjoying the air conditioning.
It has always been a day, for me, that I went out and bought a card and a gift for my dad that I was ''sure'' he'd love. And I believe that he did love all the gifts we got him in the way a father loves his children's junk.
Truly, the best way to tell dad that you love him and admire him is by buying him a tie that matches zero of his shirts, or socks, because who doesn't need a fresh pair of socks?
The cards always bounced between the silly and semi-heartfelt, because as a kid and teenager, finding the right words always tended to correlate with the first few cards you came across.
Getting older and becoming a father myself, I have really begun to understand and admire my father more, because I see what he was saying all those years.
He never scoffed at our silly gifts and no matter what Garfield was saying in that card, he cherished that we were the ones who got it for him.
I've always seen my father as someone that I can really emulate. He's a strong man, works very hard and is firm in his beliefs and his convictions.
I've watched him humble himself for the good of his family more than once and each time, he did it because he believed it was his duty. He didn't complain and didn't blame others when that could have been the easiest route to take.
But more than all those things, he loved his kids when they were not lovable.
I had a tendency in my younger years, and still on occasion as I grow up, to be a real pain. I was a moody teenager who was smarter than everyone else on Earth and I was not going to be told otherwise.
Well, I was not that smart and more often than not, I was wrong. Everything he told me about growing up and what I was going to encounter was pretty spot on.
Now that I am a father I have begun to understand that love that only a father can have for his children.
Don't get me wrong, I know that there is a connection between a baby and its mother that I will never experience, but for me there is no better job or responsibility than being a dad.
I look forward to his little handmade macaroni crafts, the strange ties with skiing Santa Claus on them and the cards that I will never ever throw away, even when my boys are teenagers and think I'm a dork for keeping such things.
I was told early on in my fatherhood that anyone can be a father but it takes a man to be a dad, and I've taken that to heart because I was so lucky to have a great dad and I know that it means the world to a boy.
Without my dad, I would have no idea how a manual car worked. Well, I still don't really know how it works but I can drive one.
He did explain the makings and functions of a manual, but I'm really stupid and had no idea what he was talking about.
Maybe it is the ultimate goal of a father, but I hope to be the type of father mine was to me and I want my son to grow up and look at me and someday realize that I knew what I was talking about.
Perhaps that is the entire goal of raising children, is to see that they grow up as decent, hardworking people. People who are strong in their faith and their beliefs and want to make the world a better place than it was when they got there.
In that case, I hope that I have and will continue to make my father proud, and look forward to seeing that my sons do the same.