Dad. I can't recall the first time either of our boys said that little word, but I do know that it has been music to my ears for the last thirty years. This is my dad, or Dad, can we throw the football this afternoon? or Do you want to go hunting tomorrow, Dad? How about, Merry Christmas, Dad or something as simple as Mom, says supper's ready, Dad? It's one of my very favorite words.
Only two people call me Dad. They will never know the honor they bestow on me with that word, the love they express when they say it, and the pride and joy I feel when I hear it.
This weekend, folks say, is supposed to be about celebrating fathers but, for me, it's really more about being grateful for the privilege to be a dad. I remember looking at each of them, just minutes old, and thinking, "He's mine." Days became weeks became months and I was mesmerized by every smile, every new noise, every milestone along the journey. Crawling, standing, stepping, walking, talking, then reading, riding a bicycle, playing Little League, being a shepherd in a church Christmas play, professing their faith in Jesus, squirrel hunting, glimpsing the Grand Canyon for the first time together, snow skiing, Georgia football games, graduations, a wedding, a cross country bicycle ride, the birth of a precious granddaughter - all of it - they've invited me into their world. By doing so, they've made me Dad.
So, this weekend, I say "thank you" to my favorite two guys. Daily, I thank God for them and I consider myself the very most blessed man in all the world. Because two fantastic young men call me Dad.
It doesn't get any better than that.