For Father's Day, my daughter, who lives with her mother about an hour and a half away from me, wanted to meet me for lunch. We had picked a restaurant half-way between us, so she could get to her evening job without much problem. I knew it was going to be an interesting day when I arrived to find the restaurant closed, all of the signage removed, and the parking lot filled with tumbleweeds. I tried to call her cellphone, but she did not answer (all that talk about not taking cellphone calls while driving was paying off). So, I parked and waited. She called, and I proposed a different restaurant. A few minutes later, I pulled up but no daughter. A few minutes passed, and I began to worry. Finally, she called and was frustrated, because she was lost. I tried to give her some landmarks and directions. A few minutes later, she called crying, upset that she was going to "jack up father's day", because she was driving circles. I gave her some more directions, and in a few more minutes she drove up. Despite her frustration with getting lost and driving circles for an hour, it all worked out well as there had been a waiting list. When she drove up, my wife had just gotten us a table 5 minutes prior. No harm, no foul.
I was just thrilled that an 18 year old girl cared enough to take time out of her weekend and drive 30 miles to spend Father's Day with her Dad. As always, I had enjoyed spending time with her, laughing, and sharing a meal. When I walked her out to her car, a look of frustration suddenly came over her. "I drove off and left your Father's Day gift at home!", she exclaimed. I told her not to worry about it that I had enjoyed just getting to spend time with her. As she pulled out of the parking lot, I thought "What the heck", so I followed her to her Mom's and picked up my gift. She completely surprised me with a book I had wanted and a touching card. Not only had she set aside time for me, she had went out and located a book I wanted - the last copy the bookstore had I later learned.
While the day had a lot of twists, turns, frustrations, and things did not go off without a hitch, I beg anyone to try and convince me it was not the most perfect Father's Day I have ever had. I would not trade it for anything. As much as I have cherished the hand written, crayon drawn Father's Day cards when she was little, and the rock that has scripture written on one side and Happy Father's Day on the other that I have kept for years, I think this was one of the best Father's Days I have had in 18 years. It is definitely one I will cherish for a long time.
Despite how hard you try to be a good Dad and support your child as they are growing up, you always have some regrets - times when work prevented you from being at a school event, a play, a musical performance or times when your patience were thin and you spoke harshly. So when your 18 year old daughter works so hard to make a day special for you, it makes it all worthwhile.