Last night I saw the essence of fatherhood.
Because his school was closed I let Goofboy stay up late and watch Monday night football. A very big, exciting thing for him.
I have (besides a residual hatred for the Yankees) absolutely no interest in sports. I was looking forward to getting in some good treadmill time and watching my idiot sitcoms. I am attempting to maintain spiritual balance - as I do something good for my body, I pump garbage into my brain. Alternately, I eat Twinkies when I read Kierkegaard.
But my son kept coming downstairs to see me. He looked despondent and a little lonely.
"Hey buddy, put the game on downstairs with me - let's watch together," I told him.
So, for 90 minutes I watched a game that I had no interest in, while listening to his extensive color commentary and fury at officials. It was a tiny sacrifice to make the night special for him.
The big sacrifices (like money and time) are barely noticed as the years go by. And the dramatic ones - like rushing him to the hospital in the dead of night - are really nothing but human decency. I'd like to think I would do those things for anyone in dire need.
But to give up a little pleasure to give him a great one - that is what being a dad is all about.