This past weekend was wonderful. It is cliché to talk about spending “quality time” with your family, but the reality is that there is a great value in doing so.

Saturday AND Sunday, we spent hours at the East Austin YMCA. This facility has a water park style pool with slides and water fountains. We had fun!! I spent most of my time with Santiago. Solana wanted to be in shallow water. Santiago loved going down the tall and twisty water slides. However, he would not do it, unless I went first and waited to catch him at the bottom with open arms. Dear friends, that was quality time at its best. As he entered the last leg of the slide, my heart was filled with joy when I saw his big and beautiful smile approaching me. I felt special. I felt needed. I felt complete. I thought how reassuring it must feel for him to know that at the end of a trilling, but scary slide ride, his father would be there for him; Waiting not only to protect but also to share, to approve, to celebrate, and to bond. Sometimes, life’s tribulations distract us from the true meeting of parenthood. Fortunately, the simple moments at the Y reminded me of what my role as a father: to provide my children with security, unconditional love, structure, approval, and attention.

On Father’s Day, the family treated me to breakfast at a local restaurant, gave me a photo collage tumbler for coffee, and we went to church. After service, the parish gave every father a sneaker bar, which I shared with the family. It was a quite and peaceful morning unlike last year. In 2007, my Father’s Day consisted of mowing the lawn and fixing a broken sink pipe. Both are fatherly, the former is more enjoyable, though.

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