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Capturing the spirit of Father’s Day June 20, 2010

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.

The overcast cleared shortly after 11 a.m. on Sunday. And with Austin at work for a few more hours, I figured I might as well take advantage of the opportunity.

I quickly got the hang of this Father's Day thing.

I grabbed a Corona, went out to the pool, hopped on my floating lounger and soaked in some rays. This, I assumed, was the spirit of Father’s Day—my first since Austin entered my life. “I’m good with that,” I decided.

As I slowly cruised around the pool, I listened to one of my Father’s Day gifts—the new CD from the band Lifehouse. It was my only suggestion for Austin when he pressed me about possible gifts he could buy, but I sensed he was having other ideas.

The latest from Lifehouse

So the night before Father’s Day, we hit the mall. I told him I’d head to Macy’s so that he could strike out on his own. “Seriously,” I told him, “please don’t spend too much.” Since he had been earning a paycheck, I noticed Austin was showing evidence of real money management skills, so I didn’t want him to get off track.

On the way to Macy’s, I noticed FYE and decided to stop in and look for my Lifehouse CD. And sure enough, there it was—one copy—and it was on sale! I grabbed it and made my way to the register. But as I looked over a few aisle to the right, who do I see walking in the opposite direction but Austin. “Shoot,” I thought,” he’s planning to get it for me after all.”

Thinking fast, I noticed a sales clerk standing in my aisle. “Excuse me,” I said, as I pointed at Austin. “See that kid? It’s my son. He’s here to buy me this CD for Father’s Day, and it’s the only copy I could find. Would you be able to return it to the bin so that I can bolt?”

With my Dad and Austin at a picnic later that day

“You got it,” she said with a warm smile. And I was on my way to Macy’s.

I still haven’t told Austin what happened at the mall, and while floating in the pool, I smiled thinking about the moment I pulled the CD from my gift bag and heard him say, “You wouldn’t believe the great price I got it for.” Yeah, I would.

But as I relaxed and continued listening to the music, I thought about another of the contents from my gift bag—my first-ever Father’s Day card from Austin. It was beautiful, and its prose really captured the essence of our relationship. But it was the personal reflections he included that really pulled at my heart. Reading my son describe me as “a dream come true” made it tough to contain my emotions.

“You are more than I ever hoped for,” I told him as I pulled him in for an embrace. “I couldn’t love you more.”

Now that, I realized, is the true spirit of Father’s Day.

Lifehouse performing “Halfway Gone”



1. Maureen - June 21, 2010


It sounds like you had a wonderful first Father’s Day! I think you and Austin were meant to find each other. What a great son!!!!

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