Here’s to the son who makes Father’s Day special

It is common on this day for a son to write about his father.

Instead, your indulgence please while a father writes about his son. It’s Father’s Day, inside-out.

He is tall — not quite so tall as the old man. And strong — more so than the ol’ paterfamilias. Comparative smarts? Well, we’re still sorting that out.

And good. There is no more extravagant way to say it — just good at heart, with a nature that makes everyone around him glad to know him.

Whenever we need to remind him that he isn’t as tough as he thinks, we play the sick-cat essay card. He kept that cat alive months beyond her expiration date and wrote about it on his application to Georgia. Showing that soft side was the ultimate reason he was accepted, according to family theory.

He has grown into almost exactly the man I hoped he would; how lucky is the parent who can say that?

And the fact that I never had to come up with bail money while he was in Athens was a great bonus.

The love part, that automatically was granted from the day he arrived, at first sight. But over the next 26 years I also grew to profoundly like him. On my list of people to share a beer with, he is solidly top five.

On Father’s Day it may be customary to wax on about the old man’s influence. But how about the son who completes the father, who makes him a better person, a more temperate one, a happier one? The son who inspires a pride more fierce than any his father has ever known or ever will know.

Spc. Grant Hummer has a few more months left in his deployment in Afghanistan, a posting he could have avoided but actively pursued. Did I mention he is a good deal more daring than his father?

My family has about as much military tradition as Joan Baez’s. My son had no template for becoming a soldier, no ideological north star to steer toward when he put down the post-college job search and came up with this odd notion of wanting to, as he put it, “do something that had meaning to it.”

You mean to tell me that there is something out there more important than writing about B.J. Upton’s at-bats?

Blame baseball. My son played through high school, and while he never could conquer the curveball, he did leave imprinted with the desire to be part of a team. He reveled in the ideal of many people and one goal. That’s why I know whatever he is doing now, he is doing it with his whole heart and a sober sense of responsibility to those with him.

All I want for Father’s Day is a homecoming.