Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day is one of those days where it sounds like it is about the parent, but really, the kids are the ones who make the day fun. If it weren't for the kids, we wouldn't be parents, so . . . it's still about the kids! And the grandkids. Each of those "Happy Father's Day" wishes is precious and gets savored; it's like collecting treasures, one by one. For my honey, hearing that is better than an A on a report card or a gold star on a project.

I love it when the older kids call or come over and offer their good wishes for a happy day, even when they have become parents themselves. It's very reassuring to hear from them--kind of makes a person feel that all's right in their world. It's a tough balance, raising them to have wings and letting them go, but still wanting them to come back to visit and connect again.

I guess you're never really done parenting until you're no longer breathing. You still feel that longing for your kids. After you have had children, it's been said that it's like having part of your heart walking around outside of you, unprotected. You're always subject to sudden pain if they are hurting or feel far away. It makes me think. Does God feel that way about us? When we forget to thank Him or give Him praise, or if we neglect to take the time to talk to Him, does He feel a sense of longing? And does His heart beat a little faster when He hears from us? Does He do a little leap of joy when we give Him honor and glory? We are made in His image, after all . . . it only makes sense to me.

Parenting is not for cowards! So, here's to you, my honey, for taking on the challenge of a family almost double the size of your clan previous to "us". Happy Father's Day, to a man who chooses to sacrifice many things he wants and needs to make sure that our kids get the things they need and many of the things they want.

Being a dad is sometimes a thankless job, but you do it because you believe that is what a man does. You do it when it's easy, and you do it when it's not convenient. You are not perfect, but you do what you think is right even when others don't agree with you. You wear your heart on your sleeve even though sometimes it gets a little banged up in the fray. You always, always make our kids a priority. Thank you for caring, for loving, and for protecting. Thank you for being the best dad you know how to be. I love you!

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