Every year as Father's Day approaches, I brainstorm for something that will do Captain Fun justice. What in the world can be done for the father of ten? How can we say we love you, we need you, we thank you, and we couldn't do life without you?
This year, with the release of the new Man of Steel, Bethany suggested it was only natural to give Father's Day a Superman theme. (Thank you, Bethany!) After all, what better word to describe their dad?
I like to have presents waiting for the Captain after lunch, and lunch is always the biggest, thickest steak I can find-but only for him, the rest of us eat a cheaper cut. Superman needs his sustenance.
Some of the presents are symbolic of why he is our Superman. Some are just because they fit the job description.
First on the list, True Grit, starring none other than the Duke himself. Not all men have it. You've got it, Captain. I also found a copy of one of his favorite movies--Chariots of Fire. It is about conviction and the pace required to run the race. Twenty six years we have been raising kids. We're still changing diapers while many of our friends have empty nests. Thank you for running this marathon with me.
Next, an authentic Yankee Clipper sled: $9 at Goodwill. For years the Captain has been trying to describe to our kids the sled of our generation: wooden with a little boomerang shaped steering contraption at the front, and up on steel runners. (You don't want to find yourself in its path.) It is my favorite find in a very long time. I was going to wait until Christmas, but what if it snows in November? He was truly surprised; something not easily done.
Two books: Dutch, about Ronald Reagan and The Boys of '98, about Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders. The Captain and I love presidential history--we just visited Monticello for our 27th anniversary, in fact. These are two of our favorite presidents.
Basketball goal. We have been without one since we lived in NY. The Captain has missed shooting hoops with the kids.
Baseball glove from Cory, #7, who just made the little league All Star team. "Dad mentions he is going to get himself a new glove whenever we practice," Cory told me. I am impressed that not only was he paying attention, but he also used his own money.
Coffee. For the Keurig machine at work, from Ben, #4. Even Superman needs a recharge in the afternoon.
Family picture, framed and mounted. I have been known to buy and hang frames with the models still in them. They look like nice folks, after all. But now the frame I bought six months ago proudly displays us and our ten kids (daughter-in-law Becky had to work that day). He is taking it to the office to keep him company.
Superhero Mask. Made by Silas, #9, his last week of kindergarten. "You are my hero," he wrote on the back. Fits perfectly with the theme, thank you.
A kayak, from daughter Bethany, #2. Captain Fun put her through college, and she says thank you every chance she gets. Tiger, #1, called just before she gave it to her dad, so he got to watch on face time. "I'm the favorite," she said to him through a smile. The debate continues.
A bird feeder and birdseed, bases and a kickball from Emma, #6. And from Mary, #5, a beach towel and goggles. Emma and her dad find a lot of pleasure in bird watching together. As far as the ball and bases, towel and goggles, we don't call him Captain Fun for nothing.
Matthew, #3, gave him a work out shirt and a book, The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The Captain can follow his physical workout with a spiritual workout.
Dorothy, #8, bought him his favorite Almond Joy/Mounds candy but left it in her room where Hope, #10, was sleeping. That one will have to wait.
Top it all off with an Almond Joy cake (my Aunt Marilyn's recipe) and some movie tickets to see Man of Steel, and there you have it, Father's Day for our Superman.
And we all knew what he would say when we called him Superman and showered him with gifts: God is the real Superman. It is only through Christ that I am who I am.
Happy Father's Day, Captain. That is why we love you so.
...the glory of children are their fathers. Proverbs 17:6b