Today is Father's Day.
A little tribute to the most special father in my life...
He enjoys it.
Refurbishing older exhibits.
It has been a constant adventure.
But he learned, as a civil servant, that gratitude was an accepted part of the job and very, very rarely expressed.
Case in point . . .
He and his team had been refitting an interpretive center.
They had been at it for three years.
Their job was finally drawing to a close.
Which allowed the center to open.
Ironic but true.
A grand gala was planned for the opening night.
With speeches by pertinent politicians.
Myself and our three younger children made the trip and were seated in the audience, happily anticipating hearing from our husby/father.
The evening wore on.
Speeches by many, many people. None of whom had even stepped foot in the building until that night.
Then, finally, just at the end of the evening, the MC announced my Husby.
The man who had organized and directed the entire operation.
The whole three years.
I was so proud of him.
He had worked hard, spending weeks and weeks on a project that took him far from home and family.
And he had done well.
I glanced around. I was surrounded by evidence of his careful, thoughtful, precise planning and execution.
We were now seated in a world-class center with the best and most advanced displays found anywhere.
The crowd had clapped politely as he stepped to the podium. Most of them had no idea of the part he had played.
But his family did.
My daughter suddenly whispered, "Come on! Let's do it!"
My children and I surged to our feet, cheering and clapping wildly.
The rest of the audience stared at us in stunned silence for a moment.
Then the smiles began.
And the applause.
No one else got up, but everyone there knew that this man was special. Deserving of what little praise we could give him.
He smiled at us, then, in his usual calm fashion said, "I have no idea who those people are."
Then, "And I didn't have to pay them much to do that!"
Much laughter and the tone of the entire evening was changed completely.
Later, one of the people with whom he had worked closely stopped me.
"We were so happy when your family did that," she said. "We would all have joined you, if we weren't already standing at the back!"
Dads get very little recognition for good deeds done in this life.
My daughter's advice? 'Let's do it!'