When picking up my son from school yesterday, I got some good news. I called to him from across the gym (he stayed after school to play), and while he walked back his teacher mentioned that Austin ‘just adores’ me.
“Yeah, I’m pretty fond of him too,” I reply.
“He does though! All day long it’s, ‘My Dad said this’ and ‘my Dad said this’ and ‘my Dad, my Dad, my Dad…'”
“How sweet. It’s been quite a lucky coincidence that the last two subjects he’s studied, composers and astronomy, are things I just happen to have studied about a lot. So we’ve had lots to talk about.”
“That’s great,” she said. “Still, either way, that boy loves you.”
As she was saying this, Austin was running to grab a book he made of all the things he has learned about the planets this past week. He made it for me. ‘My Spas Book’. It is official fridge material, my friends.
It struck me wonderfully to hear this. It’s one thing to get that generic ‘love you’ from family. But to hear it from someone outside the home, from where that boy operates completely separately from the rest of us, was grand.
It felt good to know he thinks highly of me. He regularly gets on my nerves, and I feel as though I am constantly correcting his behavior and don’t get the opportunity to actually be nice and fun. He is so active and so often in his own head; it is just tough. Frequently.
Of course, he doesn’t know I regularly sing his praises to anyone with ears. But that’s part of fatherhood, I think. It’s a quiet pride and love. You never know how much your father cares until you either hear about it from someone else or you see it from him, but indirectly as when he’s talking to someone else.