Editorial: Father’s Day means waves of joy

Another Sunday celebration for fathers snuck up on me again — in between the latest outrage on the campaign trail, high school graduations, the tag end of a legislative session and governor’s veto, hosting members of the Opera Company of Middlebury, getting the boats ship-shape for summer, desperately trying to get a few miles on my bike legs so I can do an upcoming century, running, planting the last of the flower garden, mowing and weeding, weeding, weeding.
Most of us have similar lists of activities that seem to overwhelm the days leading up to Father’s Day — that after-thought of a holiday that poses one really tough quest: What on Earth are we buying for Dad this time?
We all know, of course, it’s not about the gift, per se, but time spent or effort made or, heck, just a quick “hi and thanks.” Most Dads aren’t that big on ceremony, and especially not on their behalf.
But if you really want to impress, remind Dad of the good times you’ve had — the specific stories, the special memories of years ago, or yesterday.
When we slow down enough to re-live those moments, a wave of joy rushes in.
My daughters and I have recalled such times. The after-school walks to the college swings and the giggles and shrieks when pushing them high, and of me running underneath their legs (facing them) and outrunning the swing on the backside; then teaching them to do the same. (Shhh, don’t tell Mom.) Of breaking ice on the lakeshore in spring and trying to balance on top of the ice blocks until we inevitably fell in, knee deep, and doing it again and again until our ankles turned blue. Reading our favorite books, telling our favorite stories, learning to juggle in the stairwell of that silly Ripton apartment. Of the owl moon and our treks in winter to find him. Of early morning hikes on vacation in the Rockies, of catching salamanders, of Tootsie Roll races at the Snow Bowl, of water skiing during a snow squall in Lake Dunmore, or middle school trips up Mount Marcy in winter or to Montreal in spring. Skiing Tuckerman’s, touring colleges and, later, a few college day memories, snorkeling in the ocean, cat-skiing in B.C., and even of working together and refurbishing new homes.
Any memory will serve to put aside the busy-ness of the day and reflect on the joys shared. That’s gift enough.
— Angelo S. Lynn

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