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Father’s Day 2023

A handful of times over the course of Father’s Day, Clara asked about her and Charlie’s first Father’s Days.

“What did we do?”

“What were they like?”

Happily, I wrote about each one, of course, on Greetings Little One, a blog where I wrote to my children every day for the first eight years of their lives. That blog was turned into enormous, beautiful, hardbound books that reside in our dining room for the kids to read, but the blog also exists, so I sent a link to the family that contained the entry from each of their first Father’s Days.

My kids are fortunate to have me.

In the spirit of holding onto our days, I decided to write about this year’s Father’s Day, which was a spectacular day for me. It’s admittedly not the most scintillating narrative, but holding onto our memories for our future selves is important, as I was reminded by being able to find posts about my children’s first Father’s Days.

So this amounts to that. It includes two fistfights, the use of Elysha’s superpower, and Darth Vadar, so it’s not entirely mundane.

I started the day (after a couple of hours of writing) by playing golf with a friend and his father at 6:30 AM. I’ve played golf with these two men before, many times, including on Father’s Days of the past. I love both of these men dearly and had a great time, but it is always a little bittersweet to watch a father and son play golf when my own father remains so outside of my life and far afield.

I parred three holes on Sunday and boogied two others over the course of nine holes, which is quite good for me, yet I scored a 53, so you can imagine how badly I played some of those other holes.

After golf, I went home and received homemade cards from the family and a gift:

Tickets to a Yankees game in July. I was thrilled by the gift, but I think Elysha was even more excited, which made the gift even better. Charlie gave me a card that cracked me up, which pleased him beyond compare.

The boy lives to make me laugh.

After the presentation of gifts, the family and I went to the Coventry Farmer’s Market, where we ate egg sandwiches and scones, listened to music, shopped a little, and visited with regular vendors we know. At one point, Charlie and I were punching each other in the grass, and a woman walking by us gave me the most withering stare possible, so I punched Charlie again. Later, I threw his flip-flop into the forest for good measure. We had a grand old time.

We listened to one of our family’s Spotify playlists on the way to and from the market. Elvis Costello’s “Every Day I Write the Book” came on, and Charlie said, “Hey, Dad, this song is about you!”

I liked that a lot.

Upon returning home from the market, the family sat down for two episodes of The Simpsons. I paused the episode several times to offer the kids cultural, historical, and comedic lessons. I later told the family I would love to teach a high school or college history class based on Simpson’s episodes. It would be entertaining as hell and informative and engaging beyond compare.

After The Simpsons, I climbed atop my indoor bike for an hour of exercise, but 45 minutes into the session, the pedal broke off the bike in a rather spectacular fashion. I called the repair service, left a message, and hope they can repair it quickly. It was the only sour moment of my entire Father’s Day.

With my workout cut short, we headed out to play mini-golf at one of our favorite spots. Elysha befriended an immigrant family behind us who had never played mini-golf before and talked to them quite a bit while we waited. Clara and I scored the only holes-in-one of the day, and I scored three under par for the best mini-golf score of my life.

Then we went to Fork & Fire, a restaurant we like very much, for dinner. Our reservations were fouled up, which forced us to sit at an awkward table by the kitchen and restrooms. We remained at that table for about three minutes before Elysha very politely had us moved to one of the best tables in the restaurant, which is one of her many superpowers.

After dinner, we went for ice cream cones. We met a friend who, more than a decade ago, I helped better understand fatherhood upon the birth of his first child, which made things feel somewhat circular for me on this Father’s Day. He has three incredible kids now, but that first one threw him for a tiny loop one day, and I was so happy to be able to help.

Charlie and I continued to punch each other on the street, garnering us withering stares from two women passing by.

Clara shouted that we were ridiculous.

We ended the day watching Jumanji, a film I have seen before but the family has not. I recently learned that there are two other Jumanji films, and according to at least one source, they are excellent. I did not believe this, of course, so I watched the first sequel while riding my now-broken bike and discovered that it’s outstanding. I decided to watch the third movie with the family after they watched the first two.

We began that process last night.

They liked Jumanji very much. Clara offered a critical film analysis from a storytelling perspective, and Charlie commented on the subpar but still respectable CGI.

They were all astounded by the surprise ending, which is one of the things I most adore about the film.

After the kids were sent to bed, Elysha leaned on my shoulder as we watched a little television before heading to bed.

Apologies. Not exactly the kind of post that causes you to laugh, think, or rise in opposition, but a decade or two from now, it will be something my family and I will be grateful that I had written.

So write. Record. Preserve your memories. Your future self is hoping that you do.