ZYTARUK: My boys have taught their dad more than they can know

Tom Zytaruk

So let it be written…


Fathers are important if only for the simple fact none of us would be here if we didn’t have one.

But biology aside, dads really are amazing fellows, aren’t they? Not just saying that because I am one…

Seriously, it’s great being a dad.

Like most men who are slow on the uptake when it comes to understanding all this parenting business – certainly compared to the womenfolk, anyway – I didn’t fully comprehend my personal role in the cycle of life until I first heard our twin baby boys cry.

It was like somebody smacked me on the back of my head, making tears pop out of my eyes. Suddenly, I "got" it. And about time, my wife would say.

That was back in 2000. Today, we have two teenaged boys who are just a couple of months away from being taller than their old man.

They are, of course, eating me out of house and home – just like I did to my dad when I was their age. They don’t come cheap but they’re well worth it.

So when Father’s Day comes around this Sunday, Noah and Max, I’d like you to know that the greatest gift I could ever ask for is the privilege of being your dad.

I thank you both for all the many wonderful things you’ve taught me about life every step of the way.

One thing we’ve been doing as a family is watching the Mountain Chickadees who’ve taken residence in a birdhouse in our back yard.

The ugly little bald heads poking out of the hole, crying for food, are relentless. Mom and dad keep feeding them all day long. All. Day. Long. Geez, they’ve got to be tired.

Ever check out the Mother Nature Network? They’ve got an interesting feature on some of nature’s best animal dads.

Take the giant water bug. This guy carries his eggs on his wings until they hatch and if you try to mess with them, he will reward you with a nasty bite.

Seahorse dads incubate the eggs, deposited by mom, in a little pouch for 45 days or so until baby seahorses pop out.

Lumpsucker dads guard their eggs with ferocity, and some fish, frog and toad fathers carry their eggs in their mouths. Some amphibian dads carry their tadpoles under their skin, even.

Then, there’s the Emperor Penguin. After mom lays her egg and takes off, he keeps junior warm for the winter.

The wonder of fatherhood can be seen all around us.

(Motherhood, too, ladies, but that’s for another day).

So when Sunday arrives, think upon the sage words of author JohnA Passaro.

"Today is not the real Father’s Day," he notes.

"It is the man made version. The real Father’s Day are the other 364 days of the year that I get to see my boys grow into men and my girls grow into ladies and feel I had a slight part of the people that they turned out to be. Not a better feeling in the world.

"With every life lesson taught, half of which are understood at the time, and the other half that are understood after I am told to stop being ridiculous – every day is Father’s Day. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Good and bad. I can honestly say there is no feeling on earth, like being a father and a dad."

Sound wisdom, that. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

…So let it be done.

Tom Zytaruk is a staff writer with the Now. He can be reached at tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com