The other day, my husband was dispensing wisdom to The Eldest, who has recently discovered the concept of trading and was dreaming up all kinds of ways to trade his football and baseball cards. As my hubby is wont to do, he illustrated his point with a story from his own childhood.
There was a little Matchbox car, a white police tow truck with a shield on the door and lights on the roof. It was his absolute favorite Matchbox car, but one day, against his parent’s wishes, he traded it with his neighbor friend. To this day, he could not remember what he traded it for… all he can remember is that he really missed that police tow truck and could never find one like it in the stores again.
The moral of the story was, of course, that trading can be a tricky business and you have to be careful that you’re not trading something you value for less than its worth. But both our boys came away from the sad tale having learned a very different lesson.
“Mommy,” The Younger whispered in my ear as soon as Daddy had left the room, “I know what present we should get Daddy!”.
Of course, a police tow truck.
In a rare moment of precious teamwork, when Daddy returned to the room, both boys began plying him with questions about the specific details of the police tow truck. Surprisingly, Daddy still knew exactly what the little Matchbox car looked like, down to the shield on the door and the lights on the roof.
“Mommy,” The Eldest whispered in my ear when Daddy walked away again, “Did you notice I was asking Daddy questions about the tow truck so we can get the right one? But I made sure not to let him know why I was asking!”
The little detectives did such a good job that I was able to find the tow truck easily on eBay. It was still brand new in the box, and manufactured in the ’80s, so I knew it had to be the right one, or close to it. The box arrived today and, of course, nobody could wait until Sunday for Daddy to open it. So as soon as he got home from work, the gift was excitedly shoved his direction with much anticipation.
Now, of course, Daddy doesn’t need a white police tow truck Matchbox car from the eighties. I highly doubt he is ever going to actually play with it. It’s either going to be on display or grafted into The Boys’ collection. But that’s OK, because the truck wasn’t the real gift.
The real gift was pure and genuine love and affection from his children’s hearts. And what more does a dad need on Father’s Day, then to know that no matter how many mistakes he feels he has made, or how often he thinks he’s blown this parenting gig, his children love him so much they’re willing to track down a thirty-year-old toy to heal a childhood hurt.
To me, that means this daddy has done something right.
Happy Father’s Day to a dad well loved!