Carnes: The best gifts are simple |

Carnes: The best gifts are simple

To the absolute amazement of some — and probably a few more than I’m aware — I have been on the receiving end of Father’s Day gifts for over half my life.

This weekend will mark the 32nd time for me to receive such fascinating gifts like goofy socks, knick-knacks involving golf and beer and, of course, Trump and Jesus-themed paraphernalia.

A real laugh-a-minute, my boys are. It’s almost as if sarcasm runs in the family.


To be honest, a visit or at least a recent photo is all I ever really wish for.
Being a father to three boys has been a blessing of sorts (calm down, it’s just a figure of speech…), but like most male-kids-only families I always wondered, and sort of hoped, to one day find out what it would be like to have a daughter.

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We did not have the pleasure of raising her from birth and experiencing a female childhood from a parent’s perspective, but three and a half years ago my wife and I were lucky enough to obtain a daughter via marriage to our oldest.

Fortunately, we did not have to deal with those years of weird bodily changes, the revealing clothes, boys daring to come to our house, boyfriends in particular, etc.

Hooray for me, I think.

I have lived 60% of my life in Colorado, been a father and married for over 50% (although one of those has not been in a continuous state), and for a full one-third of my life, I have had the pleasure of writing this weekly column.

And now, in addition to having four “kids,” we have discovered that this fall our oldest will possess the youngest and newest member of the Carnes Clan, and our decades of dealing with childhood issues will start all over again.

Yes, it has taken almost 60 years, three boys, two wives and two vasectomies (true story…), and one daughter-in-law, but around Halloween, I will be anointed as a proud grandfather for the first time, and feel like I’m becoming a father for the fifth time.

Years of colic, colds, bottles, diapers and daycare leading to toilet training, preschool, picky eating, bleeding kneecaps, scrapes, bruises, ear infections and monsters in the closet will begin anew, only this time it will be from six hours away, as they currently live in Ogden, Utah.

Nursery school, kindergarten, elementary school, homework, sports, broken bones, birthday parties and girls, leading to the early teenage years of girls, crushes, acne, bullying, fitting in and never-ending popularity contests followed by the stress of girls, school and sports, all competing with the peer pressure of dating, parties, partying, music, fashion, smoking, drugs, alcohol, and girls.

I should probably mention at this point that “it” is a boy, but either way the childhood issues are actually for them to deal with on a daily basis, yet I still look forward to it all.

For a very brief 24-hour period last week, we had the entire family here, and I was fortunate to take a few photos on the front porch before everyone headed their separate ways.

So while I patiently wait to become a father once again — this time in a grand fashion — those shots constantly remind me I already have all the gifts I could ever want.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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