I had a blissful few days with the girls after they returned from their trip that I’ll write about in the next day or two. But something has been stewing in my brain for 24 hours that I need to get out.
I know it’s a day late (and a dollar short is what my brain wants to add, but if I’m talking money then I am more than a dollar short…that’s a whole different story) but I want to talk about Father’s Day.
Our little family had just had a “special moment” in church as a blessing was said over all of the men there while the family members stood over them with their hands outstretched. The blessing was great – it touched on the Fathers in the congregation as well as the Step-Fathers, Uncles, Godfathers, men who have lost children, men who long to have children, and men who through their roles in live act as Fathers to other people’s children.
Tears in my eyes.
Tears in Country Boys eyes.
Life is good. Then church ended.
We were just walking away from our seats when a man we both know – a man who is a Dad and who has made questionable decisions and not so smart personal choices in the past but seems to try to do good by his kids – walked up to the Country Boy and said, “Happy….er….have a great day!”
That man is lucky I didn’t hear that exchange and that we were in church. He would’ve gotten an ear full. Not say Happy Father’s Day to the Country Boy? What?!
Ever since the Country Boy told me about what happened (which he just brushed off as this man being a slight idiot again), my mind has formulated what I would have said. It would be something along these lines:
I have a three brothers that have all helped raise other men’s children. My oldest brother has inspired me with an unbelievable capacity for love and patience as he and his wife took in multiple foster kids/babies in the DC area over the years. They loved and nurtured those kids, gave them a stable home, nursed them to health as many had major issues, and then selflessly let them go back to their biological parents once the parents cleaned up their lives. They don’t have kids of their own, but you’re telling me I shouldn’t think of my brother on Father’s Day?
My other two brothers met their respective step-sons when both boys were relatively young. They have been there through the school projects, hockey games, late night phone calls for help, and difficult choices. They have driven those boys to new schools, new apartments, new towns – and driven them back when things didn’t go as expected. They’ve been there when it mattered, but they aren’t the biological Dad. You’re telling me they aren’t Fathers to those boys?
I don’t have my daughters call the Country Boy “Dad,” “Father,” “Step-Father,” “Pa,” “Sir,” or any other Father title. Right now, they call him “Curty” and that’s just fine with the Country Boy. Some day, if on their own accord, they want to bestow on him a title of affection then it will be by their choice and from the heart. He’s fine with that, too. It won’t change the fact that every day he takes on the responsibility of being a Father to them.
There are lots of great Dads out there – men who are dedicated to the children in their lives. Men who sacrifice for those kids, ache when they hurt, and take pride when they achieve. They might not have all been there at the moment that those little lives began, but that doesn’t make them any less important.
And there are plenty of men who WERE there at the moment of conception who have done little for the lives they helped create. Just because of that one moment should they get Father’s Day well wishes forevermore? Really?
So, I know it is late, but Happy Father’s Day to you men who do the right thing for the kids in your world. I appreciate you, and so do many others. We needs you and the example you set.
And to the man in church who dissed my Country Boy…I’m praying for grace before I see you again so that my words may be peaceful and sweet.
Heaven help me.