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Mailing It In: Got Myself a Father’s Day Gift

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And it’s of the Hawkeye hoops variety!

NCAA BASKETBALL: DEC 29 Michigan State at Iowa
Iowa basketball has long been a father-son affair.
Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When I was younger, I could never understand parents, particularly my dad, saying they didn’t want anything for their birthday. It wasn’t some big special event and no amount of presents were necessary.

Blasphemy!

Birthdays are for parties and cake and ice cream and most of all presents! Lots and lots of presents. Unwrapping them, playing with them, showing them off to all your friends. Birthdays were the best as a kid.

As an adult with kids now, I finally see where my parents were coming from. I’ve yet to actually forget my own birthday, but yeah it doesn’t have the same luster. We certainly don’t need a party and I really don’t need any gifts. If there’s something I want, I typically just go get it. On my terms, spending the amount of money I feel comfortable with and picking exactly what I want.

Which is sort of how I approached Father’s Day. Yes, my family may well still go and do something to help celebrate, but this year I took matters into my own hands ahead of time. Not really on purpose, but sort of by chance.

A few weeks back, I happened to see the Hawkeye Basketball twitter account tweet out something about summer camps. With a kid just finishing kindergarten, I thought, “hmm, he would probably be into something like that this summer given how much he got into the Garza thing.”

So I clicked the link. I scrolled through the listings and got a bit discouraged. My oldest is 6, he isn’t quite ready to spend the night at a camp for several days and the day camps seemed like a recipe for a disaster when he got home each day after SEVEN hours of basketball.

But then I came across a father-son camp. It’s short, only Friday evening and half the day Saturday, so the train wreck is limited to really just one day. And it’s something I get to do with my kid.

I went ahead and registered, of course telling my wife it was something cool for the kid and a way for her to get some more time with the younger brothers. As the dates have gotten closer and my excitement has built at a faster rate than my son’s, the camp has slowly evolved into more of a thing for me than my kid.

That sounds weird to type, but yeah, I’m really looking forward to doing something that I enjoy with my kid, who also enjoys it. Since the pandemic started more than a year ago, we’ve added a basketball hoop to the driveway and spent way more time than I would have guessed out there shooting hoops. He always wants to play 1-on-1 and since the NCAA Tournament has thoroughly enjoyed picking a team he knows I don’t like (typically Illinois or Iowa State) but sometimes opting to be a team he knows is good (Baylor or Gonzaga). He’s a sore loser like his old man and his entire understanding of basketball rules is driven by what the 8-year-old neighbor has told him (dad doesn’t know anything about hoops).

As I said, he was super into getting to see Luka and Frank Garza up close. I don’t think he fully understands that there will be a number of other players (though not Luka) interacting with him at camp and he certainly doesn’t appreciate Fran the way Dad does. I also don’t think he knows yet that the camp is held in Carver.

So Father’s Day 2021 for me is going to be experiencing that with him, hopefully in a positive way. And perhaps convincing him that choosing to play as anyone other than the Hawkeyes when shooting in the driveway is not as cool as getting to play as Iowa.

Hope all the other dads out there have a great Father’s Day as well. Would love to hear your plans or annual festivities. Also here to take any questions for Fran and co. this weekend. Other than that, what questions do you have for me this week?