Frequently, on Father’s Day, I write something about my father. I realized as Father’s Day 2019 quickly approached that one of the best ways to think about Father’s Day was to take a look at the video of DJ Pryor watching the season finale of “Empire” and discussing it with his pre-verbal son. I wrote a column about it last week and never even connected it to Father’s Day!
One of the most important experiences that I had with my father was that of being taken seriously. This was true throughout my life. At a very young age he seemed to have great confidence in me and my potential. At the dinner table he and my mother would engage my sister and me in discussions that ranged from family events to US foreign policy. At each moment I felt respected and even when we disagreed, he never wrote me off as a “kid.”
That is what I felt when I watched the Pryor video. Sure, Pryor was having fun with his son, knowing full well that his son could not fully understand what he was hearing, but that did not matter. His son was trying to communicate and, more than anything else, wanted to be with his father at that moment and to be treated as a little person and not as a presence.
What tremendous lessons there are to be learned from that moment. And what love to see between a father and son at a moment that, for many, would have been just an ordinary evening while watching television. Yet it is those types of moments that are forever remembered by children and are most meaningful. I can fortunately say that I had many such moments. I hope that you, the reader, have had just as many.
Thinking of those moments and how many of us who are now fathers have tried to replicate them, is the best way to celebrate Father’s Day.
Happy Father’s Day, 2019!