Yeah, this picture just about sums it up. Also, contrary to what you might think, owing to this being my child, she is not actually flipping the double bird here in the picture, she’s merely propping up the eyebrows. Really.
One of the things you know about fatherhood going in is that you’re going to love your kid. That’s a given. What’s a bonus is when you genuinely like your kid, which is to say that your kid is a human being that you think is interesting and fun and someone you’d like to know both better and for a nice, long time. I’m always constantly amazed how much I really like Athena, not just for all the things we share in common but also for the things that make her singularly herself; she’s my kid but she’s becoming her own person, which seems about right.
As she’s growing into that person, I have a daughter, a friend, a co-conspirator in various goofy pictures, and an inspiration, both practical (gotta send her to college) and ineffable. That’s a good deal for me, no matter how you look at it. I feel pretty lucky to be able to know her. For Father’s Day, my wish for all you other fathers is that you get to feel the same way about your own kids.