I know it’s a bit early to blog about Father’s Day. I hope you’ll bear with me since I won’t post again until after Father’s Day . . . . .
I’m fortunate to have a father who I am close to. Poor man, during my childhood years, he shared a house with four females and one, count it, one small bathroom. In spite of the testosterone minority in our home, he was a leader and a man who taught me to love in my growing up years.
Most of his childhood was spent without his father in his life. In spite of that, when I came along, he learned well how to wear and embrace the mantle of fatherhood. He was not a perfect father, but he was the perfect father for me. My dad taught my two sisters and me what love looked like—in how he loved my mother, how he loved the three of us girls, and how he loved others in his life.
Summer vacations found the five of us road-tripping somewhere. My sisters and I piled into the backseat of our car, my mom in the passenger seat, often serving us crackers and that squeezable cheese (does anyone remember that?), and my father behind the steering wheel. We had activity books, pillows, laughter and songs. He taught me to spy out and write a list of license plates from different states. I still play this game when we travel.
Friendships and people are important to him. We drove countless miles to visit friends or aunts and uncles. Up and out early, when the mists snagged the first rays of sunlight, we watched the miles pass behind us as we neared our destinations.
My dad works hard. His work ethic taught me much about the value of pouring myself into a project and giving it my best effort. We walked through lean times, but we always had food on the table. Not always fancy, but provided by my father and prepared with love by my mother.
He accepted childish drawings, our love offerings, then hung them proudly in his home office. He’s always expressed his pride in us, and affirmed us with a smile, a hug, and the right words at the right moment.
My father has made mistakes like all fathers have. But I thank God for him, the memories he’s given me and all the invaluable life lessons he’s taught me. I know not everyone has these kinds of memories of their father. As thankful as I am for my earthly father, I am even more thankful for my heavenly Father who loves perfectly and completely. He’s filled in gaps in my life that my earthly father couldn’t.
What about you? Do you have fond childhood memories that include your father? If your father isn’t in your life, is there someone else who fills that role?