My dad and I don’t chat much. We get along well, but we have no idea what to say to each other on the phone. I live three states away, and if he wants to know what’s going on with me, he asks my mom.

But tonight the two of us had a long talk while sitting in an as yet unfurnished den and watching fireflies in the backyard. I came away from it realizing again just how much I respect him. As he described the circumstances of their move and his frustrations at work, I recognized the leadership and strength of character in my mild-mannered father. Our conversation felt like a pre-father’s day gift to both of us, and I’m so glad we found time and words for each other today.

Happy Father’s Day!