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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day...

When it comes to our children men and women are different creatures. A mother has months of bonding with the child growing in her womb and by the time that child is born she is already in love. Fathers, on the other hand, are presented with a small squalling goo covered alien that they have no idea what to do with. Some fathers bond in an instant, some take until the child is older and they are no longer afraid of squishing them, and some fathers never bond and have no idea what they are missing out on. Some fathers are made into Daddies when they fall in love with children whose fathers walked away or were lost for some reason. While that child might not be theirs biologically, their hearts hold them as their own. It has been said many times that anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy. That has never held truer than it does for this generation. In a time when children are too often left without the strong guiding hand that a Daddy is supposed to provide, having an Earthly Daddy to show you the love of our Heavenly one is a rare and precious thing.
We all go through phases in our lives with those we love. The following have been mine with my Daddy.
As a child my Daddy was a “super hero”. In my eyes there was very little that my Daddy could do wrong. He was capable of fixing anything broken, scraped or bruised. He was the guy who would wipe away tears and snot with the tail of his shirt and not even wince as he tucked it back in. He carried me on his shoulders so I could see better and bounced me around in the back of his “baha” bug and didn’t even care that we all got covered in spilled soda in the process. He even (as I once bragged to my kindergarten class) killed a mean old grizzly bear with nothing but a PINECONE!
As a teenager my Daddy was pushy and nosey and interfering. The monsters he tried to chase away during those years were so much more real than the childhood ones under my bed. I did not appreciate the lengths he went to just trying to protect his little girl from the world. I saw him during those years as flawed and judgmental and untrusting. But behind the teenage attitude I was glad deep down that he did care enough to be so involved with what was going on in my life. I knew I could go to him with my problems and he would listen to me at a time in my life when I felt like no one really heard “MY” voice.
As an adult with children of my own my Daddy is once again a hero to me. But now he is real and flawed and not without his faults. I have seen him crumble (not often… but enough) and I have seen him trust God to pick him back up and straighten him out. My Daddy is so much more than Superman to me. He is a man who has taught me that I don’t have to be perfect to be loved. He has taught me that conflict and heartaches are a part of life… not the end of it. He made sure I knew how to change a tire and check my oil, but to this day will not let me mow my own lawn. He is stubborn, hardheaded and slightly anti-social. He is also one of the strongest, most loving, big-hearted teddy bears I know. He is a man of action and few words. If it needs to be fixed he will do it, often before you even think to ask. He has never been one for expressing verbal sentiment, but much like Jesus washing the feet of those he held dear, my Daddy’s small and consistent acts of kindness show his love more than words ever could.
Today is not a day to honor fathers. Today is a day to honor Daddies, no matter how they came to be. Everyone of us has a Daddy who wants to guide and direct us on the path that He can see is best for us… We simply have to learn to listen and trust in Him. To my Earthly Daddy and my wonderful Husband who have both shown me what true love of a Daddy for their children is supposed to look like… I am eternally grateful. It is in Daddies like them that I can see God’s love for all of us everyday.

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