I am not particularly enamored with corporate holidays like Mother's Day and Father's Day. I'd like to think that my parents know how much I love them every day, with or without presents, and certainly without horridly unfunny Hallmark cards.
This Father's Day, though, has particular meaning. A few months ago, I started writing "The Goblin Prince." The idea appeared in my mind during a bus ride. It felt true and right, and I almost started crying. Luckily, I stifled the tears lest my friends discover my insanity and/or menopause.
As a children's book author, much of my time is spent thinking parenthood. What does it mean to be a parent? What do we teach our children, and what do we let them discover for themselves?
The title character of "The Goblin Prince" is Agorot. He, like all children, has wild dreams. Hetsi, the goblin king, is Agorot's father and rules their subterranean kingdom. They disagree about the direction in which the goblins should dig. Hetsi wants them to dig down as they always have, while Agorot wants to see the sky and stars.
Many families find themselves at this crossroads, when the dreams of children and parents diverge. I know my grandfather wanted my father to follow in his footsteps and become a doctor. He never let go of this, even on his deathbed, even though my father became a successful attorney. It is hard for parents to watch their children head down unfamiliar roads, into worlds with unfamiliar dangers.
But as Hetsi realizes, a parent's role is not to tell a child what to dream but to give him the tools to achieve his dreams.
So, on this Father's Day, I would like to thank my father for a rare gift. Throughout my short but blessed life, his love has carried me toward the sky. Together, we have tunneled through the long dark to see the stars together.
Thank you, Dad. I love you. I will always be your goblin prince, and you my goblin king.