Today, on Father's Day Eve -- or is it Father's Day Adam? -- some folks will be posting photos of their own dad on Facebook and telling their friends why he is or was so special.
A lot of Facebook traditions, such as posting a photo of the meal you're eating or revealing which animal or tree or '70s rock band you happen to be, have run their course, but sharing pictures of Dear Old Dad is always touching and sweet.
Not to mention surprising.
That's because these same men they are now praising were once bitter, embarrassing tyrants incapable of making a rational decision or imparting a single word of wisdom.
It brings to mind the famous quote attributed to Mark Twain: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
D. Charles Williams, an Athens, Ga., psychologist and family therapist, has described these five stages in the relationship between a father and son: As a child, the son idolizes his father; as a teenager, he experiences discord with his father; as a young adult, his relationship with his father evolves; in his 30s and 40s he learns to accept his father; and in his 50s he becomes his father's legacy.
As a father, I can confirm the first two stages. Ten years ago, I was a spectacular role model to four children ages 3 to 9. Today, I am the bumbling, dim-witted father of four teenagers, three of them boys.
Ten years ago, when I asked the kids if they wanted to go out to eat, they jumped for joy and sprinted to the car. When I ask the same question today, they shrug and ask if we're going anyplace good.
It was the same for me. When I was a child, I went to Auburn and Georgia football games with my dad because it was a chance to spend time with the greatest guy on earth. When I was a teenager, I went to Auburn and Georgia football games with my dad because it was a chance to see Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker.
That's just the way it is. If you're a young parent, you'd best remember this.
If you go to Google and type in "greatest fathers," you'll learn about a guy in China who every day carried his disabled son 18 miles to school on his back.
You'll also find a father who got a tattoo to match his child's massive red birthmark.
What makes these parents great? Well, their children weren't teenagers yet. The dad with the fake birthmark would have been loved and accepted whether he'd gotten the tattoo or not.
Being a father is kind of like the weather in Seattle: If the sun's shining and you're feeling good about yourself, just wait five minutes.
And if everything's gloomy?
If you've got a new teenager, just wait seven years.
Contact Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org