It is Father’s Day this weekend—the opportunity to reflect with gratitude on those who nurtured in us the extraordinarily important talents, skills, and strategies required for success in life. My Dad passed away several years ago, but even as I miss being able to call him on Father’s Day, I remember him with fondness and appreciation. I shared a very special relationship with my father, and I am grateful every day for his gifts of love and nurture.
I think I saw an example of that special kind of relationship this week in the way the young goalie for the St. Louis Blues relates to his father.
We are all sorry that the Caps had an early exit from the playoffs, but I still tuned in to see the highlights of the final game of the National Hockey League championship series. In it the St. Louis Blues beat the Boston Bruins—and clinched their first-ever win in the Stanley Cup finals. What a comeback for the Blues, who found the determination and character to come from dead last in the NHL in January to the absolute pinnacle of achievement with their win in the final.
Part of the reason for their success is Jordan Binnington, a 25-year-old goalie who had been bouncing around in the minor leagues for the past four years, and who was called up as a backup goalie in January when the season had been basically written off by people outside the team.
After waiting for a long time to break into the majors, the young goalie was not writing off anything. On January 7, in his first NHL game, Binnington stopped all 25 shots that came his way and shut out the Philadelphia Flyers at home, 3-0. Jordan’s dad, John, was in the stands to see the win.
Because of hockey and personal schedules, the two had not seen each other for four months before that game. When asked by a sportscaster after the game for his thoughts, the young Binnington replied, “I think it’s important to try to make an impact right away and get the belief in the mind of your teammates and coaches that you can handle [the NHL]. It was a nice night, and my dad was there.”
What more could a father want to hear?
If there was anyone who was thinking that St. Louis might have a shot at making the playoffs, it was John Binnington—he had already helped his son develop the calm confidence, skill, and belief in himself that would carry him through to win the Stanley Cup.
For me, it was my dad who challenged me to aim for the highest possible goals and aspirations, constantly affirming that I could achieve the things I set out to do. I hope that was your experience, too.
If you are fortunate enough to have your father still with you, Father’s Day is the time to give him a big hug or to call him up and let him know how much he means to you. And if he is gone, recall his life with gratitude and thanksgiving. For each of us—and especially for the people we call Dad—that’s what the day is all about.