BookLovers: A Fathers’ Day Tribute

I tried, this week, to think of Great American Books about fatherhood.

Hunted for passages and quotes that conveyed the epitome of fatherhood. Characters that showed us a classic Dad and why we love him.

But the more I thought and scoured, the more I realized there was nothing that quite said what I wanted.

I wanted a book about fathers who are both Poet and Polaris. Our northern stars and our aurora borealis. Some absurd natural wonder.

I was looking for a book about a Red Sox fan and Celtics die-hard who bleeds blue for New York Giants football, hand-pushes his old lawn mower, fights long weeds by hand (these bruises don’t hurt) quietly rakes ashes over burning leaves. That rich smoky smell and bird song in the golden afternoon light.

"The Seaglass Collector"
"The Seaglass Collector"

I was looking for a book about a wood-chopper and sea glass-collector. The smell of newsprint in the front truck seat, AM sports radio, and Bob Dylan tapes in the glovebox.

I hunted for a story about a homework helper, backyard coach, Neil Young on his yellow Sony while he paints the window trim, and keeps scallop shells in line to put back on the sill.

I was looking for an example of a character who was some kind of Cowboy Poet. Guitar-picker and crossword-puzzler. Lone wolf thinker, star-gazer. Someone who notices buttercups.

I wanted a quote about the one rooting from the sidelines. First to the game, last to leave. The dad dragging hurdles and javelins back to the fieldhouse.

I wanted a story about the one whose form we imitated when we shot baskets on the street. The one we imitated all the time.

I wanted a book about the man with no e-mail. The last figure on the beach when the sun goes down and the gulls calling around him.

I wanted a passage about a father and daughter that showed the utter contentment of a quiet car ride, hearts filled when walking side by side, and about the white stones they gather on rocky shores, the turtle they found, the plants they stoop to examine, the hawks they arch their necks to watch, the rabbits they pause to study.

I wanted a story about the byline-spotter, the article-saver, the one who asks how the car is running, and where I walked, and who I saw there, and who interviewed and what I’m writing.

But I couldn’t find a book about any of that.

There are no quotes or passages.

Because there’s only one character.

I love you, Dad. Happy Fathers’ Day.

Lauren Daley is a freelance writer. She tweets @laurendaley1. Read more at

This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: BookLovers: A Fathers’ Day Tribute