Eric’s giving me the day off today. Enjoy Eric’s take on Father’s Day. ~Krista (KDRausin)

I remember kicking back one evening in the small apartment I shared with my father watching a movie. I had recently graduated high school and was working while taking a few classes at college. I had the night off and we had rented a flick (VHS – very high tech) to watch together.

The movie was called Target and it starred Gene Hackman as a father that was far too cautious and boring for his eighteen year old son to bond with in any way. When his wife is kidnapped, however, the son soon learns that there is a lot more to his dad as they set off to rescue her. As the movie unfolds it becomes obvious that Gene is an extremely capable government agent and has been hiding this fact the whole time to protect his family. Now I don’t want to wreck the movie for you but it should not come as a big surprise that by the end he rescues his wife and gains the respect and admiration of his son.

As the credits rolled I looked over as was surprised to see my father’s eyes watering up. Concerned, I asked what was wrong. Apparently the movie had resonated strongly with him and he confessed that he wished he had some power or talent that would make my sister and I look up to him the same way.

I was blown away. This was the man that was always there for me. He was the living embodiment of kindness, tolerance and generosity. To hear that he thought he needed to do something else to make us proud of him shook me to the core. We ended up talking long into the night as we reconciled his perceived parental failings with my outright hero worship of this incredible man.

We never mentioned it again after that night but I’d like to think that was because it wasn’t necessary. I was able to share many more fantastic years with him before he finally passed away.

Before he died, I was blessed to have my dad see me become a father. You have to understand, this was not something I wanted or expected. I was going to a famous rock star and parenting was not part of that plan. If anything I was going to be cool Uncle Eric who spoiled my sister’s kids rotten and then sent them back to their mother at the end of the day. Thankfully Krista had other ideas (and is quite possibly even more stubborn than me, if you can believe it). Now I have two fantastic kids and I couldn’t be happier.

So the other day as I was enjoying time with my wife, I happened to point out a particular beer making kit that I thought would make a great Father’s Day gift for me. Somehow this triggered the memory of that special night with my father. I wondered, how was it that I came to think that Father’s Day was about me?

If you’re a dad yourself, you have already been given an incredible gift. It is your responsibility to see those incredible children in your care grow and prosper. The best way to make your father proud is to show him that you learned from his example. Love your children and spend time with them listening to their hopes, encouraging their dreams and soothing their fears.

Now please excuse me as I must go hug my kids.

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