I don’t know how it is elsewhere in the world, but in the US, today is Father’s Day. Father’s Day is a special day. It’s a day to remember the man who is the reason you exist. We all come from different backgrounds and different cultures, but I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that dad’s are special and ought to be remembered in every part of the world.
Before I get started, if you are someone who claims to not have a father for whatever reason, I want you to think of the men in your life – friends, uncles, brothers, sons… Whoever they are, think of them and think of the fatherly qualities they may have, whether they’re a father or not. What have you learned about fathers from them? How have they changed your life because they’re a part of it?
This year, Father’s Day has a new meaning to it for me. Not much has changed. I’m not married or anything like that, but for some reason, I’m seeing the reason for this special day in a whole new light. Last week in Sunday School, the Mormon Message called Earthly Father, Heavenly Father was shown. I’ve seen this video before and I’m pretty sure I’ve written about it on my blog before. But this year as I watched it again, it hit me differently. I just about cried with joy as I watched it because I realized something (again): Fathers are amazing. A man’s job as a father is amazing. His responsibilities are to provide for and protect his family. A mother’s responsibilities are to nurture and care for her children. It’s the same thing I’ve been taught on a regular basis since I was a kid. But let me tell you something else about fathers: Fathers have privileges simple because they’re fathers.
Fathers have the great privilege of spending time with their children when they come home from work. Dads get to roll around with their kids as they wrestle or play hide and seek. Dads get to teach their kids to have fun and be crazy.
I remember when I was little, my dad taught me to ride my bike on two wheels. As I rode down the street, I yelled at him that I didn’t know how to stop only to find that he was no longer running along behind me. So I just crashed in a neighbors yard. But I remember the joy I felt in knowing he had trusted me to do it by myself.
My dad liked to do this thing sometimes with us kids when we went to bed where he’d swing us back and forth towards our beds saying “Shadrach! Meshach! TO BED YOU GO!” and abruptly throw us into bed as we giggled and begged him to do it one more time.
Fathers have the great privilege of providing protection and comfort for their kids when they need it most. Dads get to tell their children not to do something that could hurt them. Dads get to kiss the owies that happen when they’ve been playing too hard or messing around too much (usually because of the dad, but oh well 😉 ). I remember my dad usually trying not to laugh after we got hurt as he immediately ran to us to make sure we were okay. I may not have appreciate the laughter at the time, but I always knew he could make everything better.
Dads have the opportunity to make sure their kids know everything’s going to be alright, even if he can’t protect them from all the pain and hurt that comes with living. I remember my dad coming into the room with my mom and sister as I sat in the office of the MTC President after having just finished touring the MTC on the day I arrived. I remember him wrapping his arms around me and whispering “They found Tyler… He didn’t make it. I’m so sorry Hailey.” I remember the love I felt from him as he sat holding me while I cried for what seemed like hours. I could tell how much he wished he could take my pain from me so I wouldn’t have to feel it myself, even if it meant he would feel more of it.
A father has the privilege of setting an example to his daughters of the kind of man they should marry and to his sons the kind of many they should become. Dads get to teach their kids what a real man does and how he treats the people around him. Dads get to teach their kids the difference between right and wrong.
I remember my dad taking each of us kids individually at Christmas time to get Mom a gift and taking us out to eat afterwards. I remember my dad taking me to work with him so I could spend time with him and see what he did for a living. I remember him asking us around the dinner table every night if we could guess what he saw on his way home from work or asking us what we learned that day. I remember my dad bringing us special gifts and treats home from his business trips around the world so we would know he was thinking of us while he was gone.
Dads are special. They have a special touch that only dads have. They influence their children in ways they never imagine. Their examples teach more than just their own kids the kind of people he wants them to be. As Steve Harvey said on his show “Little Big Shots”: Anybody can be a father, but it takes a special kind of man to be a dad.
So to my very special and amazing dad I say this:
Daddy, THANK YOU. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being willing to be a father. Thank you for working hard every day so we could have a good life. Thank you for never letting us worry. Thank you for being there when we needed it most. Thank you for teaching us to care for ourselves so when we became adults, we wouldn’t be completely lost when it came to finances and all that good stuff. Thank you for recognizing when and where you can improve and doing what you can to change so that Tyler, Hannah and I could have such a wonderful and Christ-like example to follow every day of our lives. Thank you for loving Mom. Thank you for showing it. Thank you for being my dad.
I love you, Daddy and I’ll always be your little girl!