Children's children are the crown of old men;
and the glory of children are their fathers.
Audrey and Andrew (children two and four of four) surprised TG by showing up at our house in Columbia unannounced (by me) and unexpected (by him) at about ten thirty on Friday night.
They both live in Knoxville. Making the four-hour trip after a long work week was a sacrifice.
But it was one they gladly made, for they love their father. They enjoyed spending Saturday with him and attending church with us this morning. I wish they hadn't had to leave right after lunch.
Erica will be home tonight, to spend a few days with her parrots. Stephanie saw her dad just last week.
TG is s a classically-trained, salt-of-the-earth kind of father. Throughout all the years of rearing our four kids, and in his relationship with them now as adults, I've never once known him to phone it in.
From the day Stephanie was born, as a dad TG has been present but not only present; he's been interested. But he's not only been interested; he's been involved. And not only has he been involved; he has actively worked on behalf of his children throughout their lives, often in ways distinctly unsung.
As every parent knows, the true labor of love undertaken for the sake of our children is rarely seen -- and sometimes not even guessed at -- by those it benefits most.
Like all of us, TG has a few faults. He functions at various times and with equal proclivity as the Sultan of Stubbornness and the Earl of Exasperation.
Despite these and other assorted peccadilloes displayed by their paternal parental unit, I believe I'm safe in saying our four children know the treasure they have in their dad.
As it should be.
For his Father's Day they pooled their resources to buy him an upgraded Weber grill ... bigger and nicer than the one he already had. He's already used it to cook out for us. Burgers!
We had an extra burger-loving guest this weekend: Rambo the Camp Dog.
More on that later.
Happy Father's Day!