If moms are the heart of the family, then dads are the head and the muscle.
The buck stops with dad. He’s the final say, the final word. Dad is the wall.
These are all good things.
My cockatiel bird once flew under the deck at my parent’s house. Well, he sort of flew. He flew out of his cage and we all froze when he landed on the green grass at the edge of the deck. He basically watched all of us with as much of a look of defiance as a bird with orange cheeks can make while he marched under the deck, his face still turned towards us. Bird didn’t care.
Underneath of the deck was scary to a child. There could be spiders, there could be snakes and, of course, it was dark. None of those are good things. The bird knew what he was doing. My poor father, who had worked hard that hot summer Sunday was passed out on his bed, wearing only his underwear because that’s how he was comfortable after working outside all morning. Three frantic females came squawking in to wake up him and declare that he had to save the bird. Dad didn’t bat an eyelash, probably because he could hardly keep his eyes open from the daze of working an 80 hour work week.
There was no question that it had to be dad to go rescue the bird. And rescue the bird he did, fuzzy bed head and all. No questions about why I had let the bird get away from me and make it under the deck. Just compliance on his part.
I have so many instances like that. Of my dad doing the uncomfortable, the undesirable, the scary and the hard stuff. Because that is what dad’s do, all of the not-fun stuff. Carrying in all of the groceries from the van when it’s raining. Plunging the toilet. Getting hit in his private parts by his son who is learning how to throw a baseball. Letting his lawnmower and tractor get pooped all over by his daughters’ 23 chickens (sorry dad.)
Where the moms try to keep the sanity, kiss the wounds and calm the crying children, dad’s are the protectors, the fixers and the gentle giants.
Dad’s wear many hats. Provider, friend, mentor, protector, friend, parent. Dad’s peel off their suits after a long day of work and then go and mow the lawn and get their shirts stained from the grass. Dad’s get home from a day of work and do more work, whether that is fixing the dishwasher that won’t work or helping mom put the children to bed. Whether you had a present father or not, you still had a father. Dad’s are either the incomparable presence within their home, or the empty chair, but both are unmistakable forces.
We don’t value dads as much as we should. We don’t realize how much we need good men to stand up and do good things. Moms are made to pick up the slack. But the fact is that you cannot replace or make up for an honorable father. And this is so true for the people who were blessed to have a good father, but even more true for the people who were not fortunate enough to have a present dad. I am lucky to have had such a good dad. And I’m lucky that my own children have a wonderful father.
What gives me comfort is that none of us are orphans.
None of us are without a father. We have a perfect father in heaven, who calls us all his children and who loves us like a father should. A father who does the undesirable and bears the unbearable. A father who loves constantly and whose instruction is priceless. If you have a father on this father’s day, hug him and tell him thank you. Tell him how much you value his sweat and his angst and his muscle and his favor. If you don’t, I hope that you realize that you are not fatherless, you are not parentless. You, we, are loved infinitely. Greater than our minds can comprehend. But isn’t that the way with parenting? Your children never know how much you love them until they grow up one day to become parents.
I am thankful for the love of a perfect heavenly father today and for the love of a wonderful earthly father. And I am so thankful for the father of my children, his fix-it and scaring off the boogeyman skills and all.
I hope all of the dads out there have a great father’s day. Happy Sunday, everyone.