My first Father’s Day has now come and gone. As it approached it all seemed so strange. I had little or no expectation of what it would be like, and Ali regularly interrogated me to gauge my excitement. Sadly, my excitement was lacking. With Hadley being only months old, it wasn’t as if she was going to surprise me. Yet, as always, Ali did.
One of the funny things about my lovely wife is that when it comes to gifts she is extremely child-like. While she is profoundly sophisticated at conceiving and selecting gifts, always thoughtful and generous, she absolutely cannot stop talking about one after she has secured it. So, for the last month or so, Ali has been playfully taunting me with her regular chatter of "Are you exited about your first Father’s Day? I already got your present. I think you are going to love it. Do you want me to give it to you now? Ooooh, I can hardly wait to give it to you. I hope you like it!" Every major event where gifts are involved between the two of us, some similar build toward the point of bursting ensues. She simply cannot contain her enthusiasm. It is quite endearing. I am just glad that she holds off on the Christmas present. Otherwise, I might have my gift before September, because her excitement could possibly overtake her. Nevertheless, she scored well with two remarkably warm and wonderful gifts.
As there is a long standing tradition in her family of presenting fathers with an ugly tie, she playfully riffed off of this idea with Hadley’s gift to me. It features one of my favorite snapshots of Hadley in a random collage-effect, all printed on a black necktie. Not exactly an everyday tie, not that I wear one all that often anyway, but still one that is likely to get occasional use, especially as Hadley gets older and finds it more embarrassing. What larks wearing it will be then!
The second gift was the real gem. Ali fashioned a book together which tells the story of my becoming a dad, complete with text and a stunning selection of photos from the past year, highlighting my newfound role. It is really quite beautiful. It is hardbound, like a small children’s book and prominently features many of my favorite pictures of Hadley. For a booklover, what could have been more loving? It was really quite touching and short story was not without Ali’s typical sharp wit.
All and all, it was a lovely day with many well wishes, which was quite nice. Not knowing what to make of the whole it turned out to be quite a treat. We celebrated the Ali’s Dad’ annual Mountain of Meat commemoration of the occasion, which is not to be missed. Plus, I even got a very generous gift from the in-laws, which was stunningly kind. It certainly makes me look forward to the whole event with a bit more relish for the future.