Many will use Father’s Day as a day to point out the failures of men in child-rearing. This is not my motivation today. I have written in the past about the role of a father versus the role of a dad. How one is distant and one is engaged. I will not rehash that here today. Instead, I would like to spend the next few lines saluting dads.
Dads, you matter. I realize that many of you do not like to hear mushy talk, but you need to hear this. The intentional effort to be there for your child, no matter what, is noticed and welcomed. Your presence at the ballgame, recital, and graduation is longed for and appreciated. Your voice and wisdom in our lives never loses its impact. The time taken out to go to the Father/Daughter Dance or to throw the ball around will change lives forever.
We notice your work-ethic. We see your drive to provide and protect us. We know you act tough, but we have seen your eyes well up when we accomplished our goal. We didn’t make a huge deal of it, but we also noticed you cringe when we fell off our bike. You told us to get back up and dust it off, but we know that when we hurt, you hurt.
We have told you multiple times that your loud cheering when we are on stage is embarrassing, but the truth is, your voice penetrating the silence brought us comfort and eased our nerves. I know at times we seem to buck at your pushing of us, but your pushing made us who we are.
We also have a confession to make. Do you remember all the times you had to crawl in the back of your vehicles to pick us up because we were asleep? Well, most of the time, we were actually awake. We just really enjoyed using your shoulder as our pillow. We felt safe and secure in your arms.
We also realize that many of the races we had growing up were not completely honest. How could the strongest and fastest person on the planet get beat by his six-year-old? We know you let us win, and we thank you for giving us that boost in confidence.
I know there were times growing up where you felt unappreciated or forgotten about. I am so sorry for those times, but please know that you were never far from our mind. Your love and affection was wanted and certainly appreciated.
This week we celebrate you. The dad that fought for his children, the step-dad that never questioned his responsibility to his step-children, a single dad that went at it alone, the adopted dad that chose his children, and the married dad that humbly worked with his wife to make a wonderful home.
The role of a dad is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given. It is truly an honor to join in your company. Enjoy Father’s Day dad, you deserve it!
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center