Father's Day

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's Father's Day!  Well, almost!  Got that tie ready?  Or that pair of socks?  How about a Dairy Queen cake with a golf club iced on top?  Or a card with a chimpanzee wearing a funny hat and fishing and making some joke about farting after grilling burgers on a sailboat?  Ah, Father's Day.

My dad and my firstborn, Matilda (Jan 2010)
As I was deciding what to get the men in my life for such an occasion, I was realizing just how incredibly lucky I am to be celebrating both my husband and my dad as fantastic fathers.  My dad is one of my favorite people in the universe.  He is handsome and humble and smart.  He's lived like eight different lives and seemingly been successful at just about everything he's tried.  He loves Jesus and challenges himself to keep learning.  He listens well and encourages thoughtfully.  He is always there for me when I have a question or just want to hear his voice after a KU basketball game.  I always felt pretty in his eyes and that he was proud to call me his own.  In other words, he set unbelievably high standards for me in choosing a mate.

And, I gotta say, even though it took me a while to find him, God sent me someone who checks every box on the list of insanely impossible achievements to meet in order to fulfill my dream hunk.  I knew I was the lucky one when I fell in love with Josh.  But now, seeing him as a father to our girls, everyone else can see it too.  Sure, he is normal - he has his moments of frustration and forgets to take out the trash or lets Matilda have Cheetos for breakfast now and then.  But, he has revealed to me an entirely new perspective on the father/daughter relationship, and just how important it is.

My own father had no reason to be as good a parent as he was.  Don't get me wrong, my grandparents were fine, normal, law-abiding, Jesus-loving citizens.  But, what I mean is, my dad really didn't have much "baby" experience - let alone "daughter" experience.  Sure, he had my older siblings ahead of me (a brother and a sister) but, my dad didn't grow up with any sisters or many women around to "learn how to raise a daughter right" or anything.  There wasn't "Raising Girls" by James Dobson yet.  No podcasts back then with tips on how to keep your daughter from an eating disorder or a bad boyfriend.  There's really no reason that he would have known to go out of his way to make sure I knew I was pretty, or that I shouldn't be scared to be smart, or that a stupid boy isn't worth my time if he's going to treat me poorly.  No reason, that is, except that he pursued the Word of God, did the best he could, and...I'm sure...fearfully and wonderfully took my mom at her word when she would warn him about the wiles of girlhood (though, as I've been told, raising me was in a league all its own, anyhow).

Baby Daphne's birth day
 (photo by mathieuphoto.com)
Now that I see fatherhood in action on a daily basis with my own daughters, it is shocking to me how much influence Josh has on them.  I mean, I'm the one who is there most of the day...making the toast, folding the laundry, tying the shoes, diapering the bums, pretending and making up songs and coloring and trying to fit a giggle or two in between the yells of "get off your sister!" or asking "do you have peepee?" for the zillionth time....right?  But, no matter, as soon as he walks in the door - it's ALL about DADDY!!!  Daddy daddy daddy daddy!  Matilda wants to tell him all about her day, show him what clothes she is wearing, sing for him, dance a little, play with his phone, take him outside to show him birds, color sidewalk chalk with him...you name it.  Certainly, the novelty quickly wears and she gets back into a normal groove of ornery habits not long after...but, in that initial greeting, you can see the enthusiasm and expectation building in her, just baiting him for a reaction.  The thing that gets me the most is how much she wants him to see her.  Any time she changes her clothes or hair or is playing dress-up - it's always "let's show daddy"...this, innate kind of beauty pageant that is built into her psyche to seek approval and encouragement over her appearance and boost her self-esteem.  Scary stuff, really!  And, to see her face light up at his genuine delight and compliments - well, that is just like sunshine in our home!  There is nothing else like it in the world.  Simply put - once you see it, you just want your kid to feel that way as much as possible.
Baby Daphne, 6 days old
(photo by mathieuphoto.com)

Daddies are so important to daughters.  Which is why it has taken me (evidently) thirty some odd years to soak in just how blessed I have been to grow up with a man who has taught me so much, encouraged my standards to stay high, and shown me that Christ is the only answer for my needs...Christ alone...not some college or some friend or some dress or some hairstyle or some title or some career or some award or some man.  And, today, I realize that I'm the exception in the world for many daughters.  I don't want to forget that on this Father's Day, and year after year, there are a lot of daughters missing out on that tangible, quality, trusting, loving, God-fearing man to call dad...and, my heart just breaks over that.

But, here's the awesome thing:  those daughters are not forgotten.  Listen, sisters, I know it is easy for me to say "You may not have a father, but you have a Heavenly Father"...but, it doesn't make it any less true.  In the eyes of Jesus, you aren't any less loved or less beautiful or less worthy of holding out for a super-terrific-awesome husband who will be a super-terrific-awesome dad to your own daughters someday too!

When I think about all this, and how Matilda's face lights up in the presence of her father - this is how I want to think of my Jesus.  I want to be excited to show Him who I am.  I want to be bursting at the seams to tell Him about my day.  I want to be so overcome with joy at the thought of Him that I can't help but want to hug someone and make the feeling contagious.

I love my dad with all my heart - for a zillion reasons listed and unlisted - but, most of all, I love that he taught me that the one and only man I need to rely on no matter what isn't him...it's Jesus.  And, that's something that can be celebrated in each of our hearts, every day...and you don't even have to buy a stupid card with a chimpanzee on the front.

1 comment:

  1. You're getting good at this blog thing;) love you dad!!!


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