“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” (Clarence Buddington Kelland)
I am privileged today to be spending time with three dads: two “oldish” ones (Allen and my brother Stephen) and one first-timer (my son-in-law Cody). As I scrolled through Facebook and Instagram this morning, images and pictures of fathers near and far, alive or passed on, silly and serious, coupled with lots of writing or just a plain image, my heart became full.
Dads get a pretty bad wrap in our culture. Their absence or abuse seems to be the downfall of our families and ultimately our society. Dads are to blame for the ills that befall our hearts. In the media, they are painted with a large brushstroke of incompetence, ill-will, and ignorance. For many today, this image is more true than you’d like it to be. It fits with your experience. This day is actually one of the hardest of the year. I am sorry.
But as social media reminded me this morning, it’s not a complete picture of all dads. Some dads, like the three I am with today, are good men: kind-hearted and loyal, fun-loving and humble, gentle and strong, present and loving. Enjoy these snapshots of some of the best dads I know.
1. My husband Allen getting into the baby pool with our four-month old.
2. My brother Stephen taking long fishing trips with his son to the remote regions of Canada and New York State.
3. My father telling the story of the “Wide-Mouth Frog” to a bright-eyed grandchild the same way he did with me so many years ago.
4. Allen patiently hooking up many a worm on fishing poles for our not-able-to-do-it-yet boys. (key word: patiently) And as you can see, braving the dangers of taking our young wiggly boys on a much-longed for boat ride.
5. My son-in-law Cody playing peek-a-boo with his six-month-old and producing cackles of laughter.
6. My friend Glenn walking his daughter down the aisle and then performing her wedding ceremony with tears in his eyes and love in his heart.
7. My brother Tim holding his kids close at the graveside of their mom.
8. My father-in-law giving the toast at our wedding after agreeing to be Allen’s best man.
9. My brother David attending concert after concert with his daughter.
10. Allen and Rachel holding hands while walking into their favorite coffee shop in the wee morning hours before high school.
These are the pictures (and so many more about so many of you or the men that you love) that are etched into my memory from men who have decided to be present, to be intentional, to bring healing, to love their children well. Thank you. Thank you. I salute you! Keep up the good work! You are the reason that I can remotely understand the love of my Heavenly Father. No one else does it better! Happy Father’s Day!
WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR SNAPSHOTS OF THE GREAT DADS YOU KNOW! Feel free to comment and share (especially out on social media)!