When I found out I was having a boy, I couldn't help but picture my husband doing all the typical father-son activities together. For us in New York City, that meant playing handball, learning to ride bikes by the bay, and sharing a bagel with lox on a Saturday afternoon. Their relationship has blossomed in ways I could have never dreamed, and I've loved witnessing it all. My son loves his Baba deeply and truly, and he's not alone. To hear others speak about their dads, well, it's emotional. There are so many Father's Day quotes from sons that run the gamut of feeling from hero worship to wishful regret. Because, let's be honest, not all of us are as close to our dads as my husband and son happen to be.
When it comes to our relationships with our parents, each of us will have a vastly different experience. Some of us may be really close to our dads, and some of us may have no relationship, or a very strained bond that's a bit frayed at the edges. Either way, talking about it is cathartic. It doesn't matter if you're re-living playing catch with the man who taught you to throw a ball, or if you're just being grateful that you had another parent or caregiver who stepped up to the plate when you needed it, talking helps. Honestly, my relationship with my father is rather delicate, but I know that talking about it with others who are in similar situations lifts some of the load — especially these quotes.
1. "I know him as an incredible father and a loving grandfather. A man who hustled home to Delaware after the last vote so he wouldn't miss me and my brother's games. Who, after returning from some war-torn region of the world, would tiptoe into our room and kiss us goodnight. Who turns down some fancy cocktail party in Washington so he won't miss my daughter Natalie's birthday party." — Beau Biden
During his speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the late Beau Biden spoke candidly about his father, Joe Biden, and the man he is. Beau Biden would pass away from an invasive brain tumor just a few years later, and Biden would go on to write Promise Me, Dad, in his honor.
2. "One day I looked at a huge supercomputer and, inspired by my father, I thought, 'What about a small supercomputer that you can use in your own house to look at pictures of your smart dad?' Boom. I’d invented the personal computer, and it’s all thanks to my dad.” -- Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple, Inc.
Steve Wozniak is a super genius. The quieter of the Jobs/Wozniak pair, he's often overlooked, but along with Bill Gates, he's responsible for so much of the tech we live with and work on every day. And to know he thanks his dad for it is just a tearjerker.
3. "That was when the world wasn't so big and I could see everywhere. It was when my father was a hero and not a human." — Markus Zusa
Zuzak's books really dive to the heart of the matter, and I Am The Messenger is no different. Here, the protagonist Ed Kennedy is speaking about how we tend to lionize our fathers before we see that they're mere mortals as the rest of us. It's a hard lesson to learn, but ultimately helps us understand them better.
4. "I had not known my father very well. We got on badly, partly because we shared, in our different fashions, the vice of stubborn pride. When he was dead I realized that I had hardly ever spoken to him. When he had been dead a long time I began to wish I had." — James Baldwin
Baldwin wrote a lot about the regret he held over his strained relationship with his father, and this certainly illuminates that. Growing up in early 20th century Harlem was a struggle, and being gay with a preacher for a father could not have been easy. However, Baldwin put his pain in words so eloquently it resonates with everyone who reads it.
5. "My dad is my best friend, my father, and my boss. When I do something exciting and he likes it, it feels three times as good as you can imagine." — David Lauren
Son of Ralph Lauren and head of his company, David Lauren seems to have the hit the dad jackpot with Ralph, who's not only supportive, but celebrates his son's victories. Bravo, Ralph.
6. "My dad said it's never too late to do anything you want to do, and you never know what you can accomplish until you try." — Michael Jordan
7. “When I was a small boy, my father pointed at the night sky and said, ‘Elon, I have filled a garbage bag with delicious yogurt and hidden it somewhere in the red deserts of Mars.If you can find it, it’s yours.’ Since then, I have stopped at nothing to create a spacecraft that can take mankind to Mars so that I can recover the yogurt that is rightfully mine. The hunt for my father’s bag keeps me motivated, curious, and passionate, and I will never stop hunting for the trash bag filled with yogurt until I am eating it on the surface of Mars. This is the key to my success.” — Elon Musk
Well, he's now shot a Tesla into space, so I'd say he's getting closer to finding that bag of yogurt. Might want to check the expiration date, though. Just saying.
8. "Isn't it ridiculous, after all, to think that a son could forgive his father for beating the drum that sent him to his death? Isn't it ridiculous to think that a mouse ever could forgive anyone for such perfidy? But still, here are the words Despereaux Tilling spoke to his father. He said, "I forgive you, Pa." And he said those words because he sensed it was the only way to save his own heart, to stop it from breaking in two. Despereaux, reader, spoke those words to save himself." — 'The Tale of Despereaux'
If you haven't read The Tale of Despereaux, get on that immediately. The representation of father and son is so beautiful and so heartbreaking, it will live in your heart forever. Read it with your children, they seem to understand it even better than adults.