My dad was an amazing person. He was a school custodian, and he loved kids - he especially loved my sister and I. Did I every tell you about the time I gave him a rock for Father's Day? I was really young and didn't have any money. At the time, I remember I was collecting rocks, and one of my most recent acquisitions was a small piece of petrified wood. It was so cool, and I remember my dad explaining to me how the rock I held in my hand had been a tree long before my great, great...great grandfather had been born. So when I didn't have any idea what to get him, I gave him something that was precious to me - a rock. And he kept it. For years and years he kept that silly rock. I would see it floating around the house, in a drawer here, on a shelf there. When I got older, it was a joke we told every Father's Day, about the time I got my dad a rock. And I remember thinking how crappy it was, and that he was just too nice to chuck it outside somewhere.
On the day my dad died, we received a small package of items that were on him when he went into the hospital. Amongst the random assortment of things: wallet, knife, scraps of paper and keys - a small rock was found. Not a rock actually, but a piece of petrified wood, the same piece I had given him so many years earlier. I remember holding it again, and feeling the smooth round edges that had been worn down by being carried around in a pocket for years. This is one of the special memories I have of my father, and though he has been gone a number of years, I carry that bittersweet memory with me each Father's Day. My father was not perfect - father's don't need to be perfect - but that story is one of the ways I know deep down how much he cared about us.
With Father's Day nearly upon us, I wanted to create a booklist about fatherhood. The carousel below is a mixed bag of books dealing with fatherhood: some funny, some instructional and some that just make you think. Whether you are thinking about your dad, thinking about becoming a dad, thinking back to being a dad or looking for a story to read with your kids about dads - there should be something here for everyone. Happy reading, and let's start thinking about father's day presents now, shall we? Did I every tell you about the time I gave my dad a rock for Father's Day!?!?