Andrew Dys

Kids use their hands and hearts in York County to show love for Father's Day

Dalton Deese, all boy at age 7, did what boys do best Saturday. He grabbed a hammer and pounded nails.

He built a birdhouse for his dad, for Father’s Day, because his dad Chris Deese is “the coolest dad in the world.”

“He plays baseball with me, he throws the football before I go to bed at night,” Dalton said. “That’s my dad.”

Chris Deese, the dad, was right there with his son because “kids grow up so fast. I have a teen at home, too. They grow up and leave us dads. When they are somewhere I’m not, I am lost.”

Father’s Day is not Mother’s Day. Mothers are the greatest, the toughest, the sweetest. Mothers do more in a week than most dads in a year.

But there are some pretty great dads out there, and a bunch of those kids who love dads went to the Habitat for Humanity resale store in Rock Hill Saturday to build birdhouses, make other crafts, and just do something to thank those dads for being dads.

Habitat provided pizza and cold drinks and materials and helpers, and the kids supplied the labor and the love.

Serenity Cash, 10, and Patience Cash, 4, also built a surprise birdhouse for their father, Jesse.

Patience said her dad is “super great.”

“He tucks me in at night,” Patience said.

Serenity said her dad does all kinds of stuff with her, everything from bows and arrows to bedtime stories.

“He’s my dad,” Serenity said.

Twins Dylan and Ava Geis, 4, and Sara Geis, 7, built a birdhouse for their “awesome” dad Bob Geis. Their grandmother brought them and the birdhouses are a surprise for Fathers day, so don’t blow the surprise if anybody knows Bob Geis.

“My dad, he’s just the best,” said Sara Geis.

Coming from a 7-year-old girl, that is mighty praise.

Because dads often embarrass daughters.

Just over a week ago, my youngest of three daughters, 10, graduated from elementary school - fifth grade. The ceremony allowed no clapping. I sat on my hands. One other daughter held my arm in a wristlock. The wife held the other arm with a clench worthy of Hulk Hogan.

When the ceremony was over I broke free and jumped up and down.

“Embarrassing!” stated the 10-year-old. “You act worse than the kids.”

Then the next day the oldest daughter graduated high school. The rules are stricter than jail visits. Which is exactly where cops will put York County parents who clap during graduation ceremonies that are so boring as to cause coma.

The wife sat next to me and hissed, “Clap and go to jail. No bond for you. Sit there all weekend.”

After it was over I screamed like a soccer hooligan. I hollered and ran around and told total strangers: “That is my daughter!”

I did not go to jail. I cried, like a baby.

Any dad knows that this is because our kids are the one thing, if we try, and use love, and cherish these kids in a life of missteps and horrible bosses and buying beer and sports tickets instead of what the wife says to buy, that we don’t mess up.

Off to one side was father Scott Smith with his two daughters, Isabel, 12, and Amelia, 10. The girls made concrete sculptures with beads and stuff inside pizza boxes, but there was far more going on than sculpture and stones. It was love.

The girls and father laughed about the books he read for bedtime when they were small. How he is such a spontaneous and fun guy.

Scott Smith stood off to the side and watched, and talked about being a father. Guys go from selfish jerks one day to crying saps after children are born. Only kids can make a boy a man.

Smith was asked if being a father is a job.

“No way,” Smith said. “It is a privilege. I get to spend time with these wonderful girls, and be their dad. It is the greatest privilege in the world.”