A healthy, mature coffee plant will bear fruit for decades. The sun rises and sets, the morning fog rolls over and peels away, but the coffee plant still blossoms.
Fatherhood is like that. The same days come and go until, one day, everyone is somewhere, and someone, newer than they were before. But a father’s love keeps bearing fruit, no matter where and who you are in your life.
Just as there are different coffees in the world, there are different kinds of dads. Here are six coffees for the many marvelous fathers out there.
For the Baby Monitor Battery-Changing Dad
This father wraps his infant child in a soft blanket and a hand-knit cap. A friend once mistook that hand-knit cap for a drink coaster. To be fair, it was misplaced next right next to the hand-knit drink coaster basket, and it was misplaced in such a place because this father doesn’t sleep much. His wife jokes that he still holds the record for replacing baby monitor batteries. You’ll notice one day how tall his slight shoulders, even during the hardest times, can walk in the rain.
For the DIY Super Dad
This father helps his kids work with their hands. Whether its slotting wood rods into model airplanes, juicing an orange, molding the perfect science fair project, his hands take the hurt off their hands. His hands are capped with calluses. Ruddy, cracked, chapped. His are proud hands. He washes those hands under the garden hose in the yard, and when the work is done, he smiles and claps the dust off their shoulders with those hands. It’s a good job, he says. Then he sits down with his hands on his knees, where they can’t see, tired. It’s a good job.
For the Nine-to-Five, Deserves-a-Treat Desk Dad
This father doesn’t sit at a desk; he rides one to victory. He blocks out the buzz of fluorescent office lighting with a pair of headphones and a toe-tapping music playlist. He power walks up and down the office hallways on his lunch break, does push ups in the empty suites to keep the blood flowing. He raises his coffee mug like a sword against the boring. He knows to score the everyday workday triumphs, the little wins he can take home. He takes them along on long business trips to too-bright cities, counting the clouds outside his airplane window. He counts down the minutes to being home again, to the bubbling laughter that makes every Monday morning email worthwhile.
For the Sports Sideline Cheerleader Dad
This father lives out loud for his kids. He hustles through the house and the Saturday morning haze. He piles shin pads, cleats, sunscreen and sports towel – everything they’ll need for the game and some things they won’t – into his arms. He yells, but in a good way, like a tropical bird or an jubilant sidekick. He hustles out the front door, which leads to the driveway which leads to the field which leads to hustling up and down the home team bleachers. He claps and cheers himself silly in the stands, splashed coffee all over his team polo (again) whenever he or she touches the ball. After the match he high fives the whole team – BOTH teams. To this day, no one is sure which games were won or lost.
For the Do-You-Know-What-Time-it-is Dad
This father worries. He waits. He sits all the way at the end of the sofa facing the front door. You can’t miss him if you’re, say, walking in after curfew. He leaves a single lamp on in living room, just to emphasize how late it is. When his son or daughter comes home, he gives them The Look. They could go on to become president of their company, score the final goal in overtime of the championship game, stand up to that grade school bully. But nothing will ever make them feel how The Look does, because they know how much he loves them.
For the Raised ‘Em Just Right Dad
This father watches his children go – on a cross-country bus, in a hand-me-down Honda, on the next big adventure. He’s watched them stumble and grow and stumble still, and he’s beamed with pride every time they’ve gotten back up. He’s hovered behind them as they took their first steps, as they waved their arms for balance. Now he’s “got something in his eye” as they wave goodbye for a little while. Now he sits on the patio in the house where he helped raise them. The morning sun sifts through the patio screen and lays on him deeply, and he lets out a deep breath, the hard work finished and a smile on his face.