Baumhower: Father’s Day for Some.. Superhero’s Day for Others

Written by: Jeremy Baumhower

superdad1

Created exclusively for this column by artist Don Lee

Today is Father’s Day.  A day designed to celebrate and honor the ‘dad’ in your life, either living or dead, biological or not.

For boys, Father’s Day is a time to bask in the great memories of our childhood; filled with images of playing catch, learning how to change the oil on the family truckster or being chased down the block after you tried your father for the first.  Maybe you remember the exact moment when your dad blew you away with advice you’d never expect to hear.

This is of course for most boys.

I want you now to imagine a lifetime where you never actually remember meeting your father.  A life where everything you know of him is through stories people tell you and pictures in a book or frame.  A childhood that everyday features a person who points out how you have your father’s eyes or his chin, but you have no idea because you can’t remember him. These comments happen so often, so regularly that your brains trains itself to say the same thing in response… “Thank You, my mom thinks so”, as you force a smile.

A life, where at the age of four weeks old… your father gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country or his city.

What do those boys think about on Father’s day?

We have two boys locally that are living this life;  One lost his dad this past January fighting a fire and the other defending his country in Iraq in 2005.

In these boys’ minds there are no differences between their dad and superheroes like Batman or Spiderman.  Their childhood is filled with people telling them these amazing tales of what their dad did, of who he was and of how he was a hero.

This is the very same way we tell our children about those fictional characters who save lives, fight for good and sometimes have superpowers.  Instead of cities like Gotham or Metropolis, these boys hear of places like Tikrit and Perkins Township.  Similar to Spiderman with Mary Jane or Superman with Lois Lane, there is a running love story that feature names of a ‘Tiffany’ and a ‘Girl Jamie’.

Most boys have dreams of the Justice League or the Avengers, Myles Eckert and Grant Dickman will live a lifetime with visions filled of two different superhero teams, the United States Army and the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department.

Some dream of men wearing capes and tights, these boys will dream of men wearing camouflage fatigues and firefighter gear.  Some superheroes can run lightning fast or fly invisible airplanes, these two superheroes climb ladders and drive tanks.

We can only pray that a boy who lives a life where everything he knows about his dad is told to him, will come out exactly as his father would have wanted or dreamed.  It’s our responsibility as their neighbors, to do everything in our powers to make that a reality.

It’s way too early to say for sure about who Grant Dickman will grow to be, because he is only six months old;  if he is anything like this nine year old Myles, everything will be OK. That kid is trying to change the world, just like his dad tried to defend it.

As you celebrate today with your father or children or both, think about three families that can’t; the Eckerts, the Dickmans and Machcinskis

For Myles and Marlee Eckert & Grant and Paige Dickman… Happy Superheroes Day.

For everyone else who is blessed with actual memories and or maybe a person still to throw some catch with…  Happy Father’s day!

Dedicated to Sgt. Gary “Andy” Eckert, father of Two & Private James Dickman, father of two.

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Columnist, Writer for Radio Shows across the US & Canada, Promoter, Believer, Father

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Posted in Baumhower, Column, Family, Fatherhood, Feels, Life, News, Parenting, Toledo, Waterville
2 comments on “Baumhower: Father’s Day for Some.. Superhero’s Day for Others
  1. Beautiful, Jeremy. You pretty much hit the nail on the head here.
    My Son, 15, has the unfortunate kind of ‘Bio-Dad’ that makes any reasonable human being cringe. He spent 14 excruciating years being hurt and let down by him. It’s only been since November that the courts finally decided to give up on him ever being a positive influence in my Son’s life. I had always hoped he would, one day, become a ‘Man’ and love his Son. Within that love he would feel the need to be an honorable Father to an exceptional Son. To live a life of a good man; responsible, dedicated, good-willed, admirable, an example; but he didn’t just fall short, he just completely abandoned that role with zero remorse. I will always put that pain of which my Son will carry throughout his lifetime on my shoulders. I will always feel sorry for picking such a failure to have a child with. I will always have guilt that I didn’t do better for my Son on that end. Is it really my fault that his ‘Bio-Dad’ is incapable of being a decent person, let alone a Father? No. I can’t make him be anything he isn’t, believe me, I’ve tried. Besides, my Son wouldn’t exist had I had a child with anyone else. He is 50% his Dad’s DNA. That is the only thing that I could ever be grateful to his Dad for.
    My Son is amazing, handsome, and very dapper! I am fortunate to have an amazing family on both my Mother’s and my Father’s side. Big families with plenty of good Men to fill in for my Son where his Dad was always lacking. My Father is the best definition of a Man and is an even better Father and Papa. My Son not only had me setting the bar for who he should strive to be and what moral compass to hold, but he had his Papa and over 20 Men in the Family to model that for him. He was never short of good Men for him to look up to, just short of someone to call his Dad that didn’t hurt everytime he thought of it. I always dreaded Father’s Day because my Son would cry and say, “All my friends have a Dad to spend the day with, but I don’t and I wish I did”. I don’t wish that pain and helplessness on my worst enemy. There were SO MANY triggers. It was awful.
    In March of 2007, that all lessened a little. I met my Husband and we were building our own little blended Family. My Hubs just stepped in and behaved as he was my Son’s Father. Not by being asked to. Not by obligation. Not by any need. Not by any force. Simply enough to him, because he loved us. My Hubs was raised by a wonderful Dad and he was a good Man to his core. He had nothing less to offer us. Til this day, 7 yrs later, he has never once said anything about the fact that he has financially, emotionally, and selflessly provided for OUR Son. He’s never implied any resentment. He’s never felt obligated. He’s never even thought twice about putting our Son before anything. I couldn’t have built a better Man with my own hands. He was and forever will be a God Send to us. Two days before our wedding, I was talking with my Son about how he was going to have a Step-Dad in the eyes of the law and my then 9 yr old Son said, “I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me who my Dad is, I already know Shaun is my ‘Real Dad’.” It was the sweetest thing I had ever heard and I just cried. Finally, I felt like I did something right by him. My Husband included vows to my Son in our wedding ceremony and he gave my Son ‘Dog Tags’ that had Family & Loyalty on them. Then the 3 of us poured together our sand to signify our Unity. It was a dream come true.
    I’m sharing my story because I’ve seen all angles of a Man and a Father. I can empathize with almost anyone in respects to what Father’s Day can mean. I have the most wonderful Father. My Son has a phenomenal Step-Dad. My Husband’s Dad is in Heaven. In the 15 yrs that my Son has graced this earth, we’ve been dealt just about every hand…but we’ve beaten the odds and we will continue to do so. We don’t take each other for granted. We are sure to show our gratitude. We are proud of who we’ve become. We strive to never take our good fortune for granted (not monetary). We love our imperfect lives and our beautifully blended Family.
    I have to say, when I read about Marlee & Myles, I couldn’t help but feel their pain. I felt the pain of their Mother. Then my mind went to the 1st time my Son got to attend ‘Dad’s Night’ at school, with my Husband. Their picture, oh gawd, I get choked up just thinking of it, my Son never looked more proud or more happy than in that moment! I know one day, Marlee & Myles will have that moment, too. Whether it’s by a Step-Parent, by a Spouse, or by being a Parent themselves; they will have that moment. They will feel content, happy, proud, and complete one day…hopefully, sooner than later!
    On this day, I am whole because of the Men in my life. I am eternally grateful for each and every one of them. My love is undying for them as theirs is for me. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Dickman says:

    Thank you very much for your kind words regarding our son Jamie and our grandchildren Paige and Grant. Jamie was a wonderful dad. He did more things with Paige in 3 short years than some men do in a life time. He was already making big plans for things to do when Grant got older. Thank you again we greatly appreciate your kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

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jeremybaumhower

jeremybaumhower

Columnist, Writer for Radio Shows across the US & Canada, Promoter, Believer, Father

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