I am a father with three teens. As a result, if a priest were to visit my home and witness the amount of eye rolling that occurs, he would schedule an exorcism faster than you can say “The Conjuring.”
I realize this is a teen thing, and that it’s not easy going through physical and emotional changes generally reserved for a full moon. I understand how the Molotov cocktail of hormones created during this time makes everything annoying, particularly when I say something insensitive such as, “Hi.”
However, come Father’s Day, I will remind my them about the recently discovered 11th Commandment, in which God said unto the teenagers of the world: “Thou shalt not eye roll thine parents. Tis truly annoying.”
They will immediately Google it and discover I’m making up this Commandment, at which point the whites of their eyes will begin that slow, exaggerated roll they know drives me nuts… and then they’ll remember:
Oh no, It’s Father’s Day.
“Ahhh-HA!” I’ll say. “Today, the only whites I want to see will be on the eggs you’re cooking me for breakfast!”
Ok, not really.
All eye rolling aside, my teenagers are good kids who, on Father’s Day, honestly do their best to make it special. While it’s a day we show appreciation for fathers, I can tell you it’s as much a day that we fathers quietly appreciate the gift of our children. Sure, there are moments when it feels like a white elephant gift, but we wouldn’t exchange it for anything. Especially since most white elephant gifts are limited to $5 anyway.
When I look back over the years and how sharing the ups and downs, good and bad, joys and frustrations of our children have shaped our lives as a family, I’m reminded of how much it has shaped me as a father and a man. And not just in terms of weight gain from bake sales and Girl Scout cookies. I can honestly say my children have taught me as much about myself as I’ve tried to teach them about themselves.
Without them, and each other, I know my life would never have become everything I hoped it would be.
Do I sometimes wish “everything I hoped it would be” didn’t include those annoying eye rolls?
But I’ve also come to understand that it’s a small price to pay for fatherhood.
Together, it’s just the way we roll.