I have had a number of thoughts on my mind about today’s Father’s Day holiday. NUMEROUS. I wasn’t sure I was going to write. I would start one thought, get distracted, and delete the draft. Start another one, not like it, and delete the draft. But then it occurred to me: writing is my form of art, so why WOULDN’T I write about someone who I get to watch on the most intimate level, day in and day out, do daily, yet heroic things on one of the biggest platforms there ever was?
Well, duh. Enter: OUR COACH.
Wouldn’t you know it that our kids were the ones that spurred on the best of him in a swift 5 minutes. When we got together to talk about his attributes, their heart about spilled on the table. I added a whole two items to the list (because I wanted to get something in!), but the ideas from their deep love for him were so heartfelt, yet said with such fluidity, that it actually caught me off guard.
(Excuse my horrible attempt at making a hero cape off the ‘O’…like I said, writing is my art, not drawing!)
Dude, you are our hero.
His role as a dad came much earlier than expected. We were in marriage for a full 14 months when we welcomed our little boy into the world. Had it been our plan, we would’ve waited two, three, maybe four years before bringing a child into our young married lives! However, God’s plan was much different. He thrusted us into parenthood before either of us were near ready.
Regardless whether we were ready or not, I had a front row seat in watching this 24 year old handsome young man that I loved dearly, grow to become a dad of legacy, leadership, strength, and courage.
And so, these reasons above, on that cheap piece of cardboard from the grocery store, are the reasons that I absolutely love watching you be their dad.
Oh how much you loved that infant boy we brought home. I remember watching you with him, walking him into our home, straight to his nursery, rocking him, and STARING. Just staring into those eyes of his. I knew right then and there, there was no question what kind of dad you were going to be. And look… look what he wrote. You are his MENTOR. You’ve put a basketball ball goal together when you had horrible cold chills from the flu, you have taken him to all of his dentist appointments (thanks!!), you have taught him how to fish, you baptized him, and you have shown him what it means to be a caring man. You are his mentor, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
We had a lot to work through when we welcomed our boy into the world. We had a lot to learn, and we learned courageously through the mountains and through those valleys. We learned together. Our little firecracker has it down pat, doesn’t she? You walk through parenting with so much BRAVERY. She looks at you and sees a brave man in front of her. She said that you are brave with such ease, yet with such pride. A smile painted across her face as if she had just won 1st place in a competition. When she wants to be protected, she runs to YOU. You are the bravest parent I know. You go head first into the parenting fray with God as your guide. And actually, you have taught me to be a brave parent. You’ve pushed me to go outside of my parenting comfort zones. We BOTH think you are mighty brave, darling.
You’ve taught our kids what it means to be passionate, fully sold out, and ALL IN with what you do on a daily basis. Your coaching. Your Christian mentoring to kids. Your passion for the game of baseball, other coaches, athletes, and for doing what is right, regardless of what anyone else might think. They have BOTH been to more games than we could even begin to count, but see here?? They don’t say you are their hero because you love sports, or because you are good at baseball. No. You are their hero because you are PASSIONATE about what you do. You are teaching them to be sold out on their passion and what they believe God has called them to be.
The spiritual leader of our home. This one is from me. Boy, how we have both grown so much spiritually through our short, almost 14 years of marriage! We have ebbed and flowed; one of us sometimes more of it than the other. You know full well that my teenage prayer for my future husband was that he would be the spiritual leader of our home. My prayer has been answered tenfold. Thank you for being the SPIRITUAL leader for not only me, but for our kids too. When I mentioned spiritual leadership, not an eye was blinked; I didn’t have to explain what that meant. I’ll never forget the day you were baptized with our 3 year old young son watching on. He and I will always remember what song was playing that day, because we talk about it often when we hear it; “Blessed Be Your Name” by Matt Redman. You are making an impact, darling.
One of the needs that this society of girls are missing desperately is knowing they are loved. The need to be seen. The need to be heard. The need to be valued. Statistics show us that when young girls are not valued and do not feel worthy, things start going south real fast. That’s why Little Firecracker’s words almost burst the waterworks within me. She feels that you PAY ATTENTION to her. I thought later about all the other things she could’ve said. Maybe something like, “He plays with me,” or she could’ve said, “He watches movies with me.” But no…he pays attention to me. How huge is that for a young girl? You are teaching her that a good man wears pink gardening gloves, and does it happily for the girl he loves.
I can say with 100% certainty, that our kids go to bed at night knowing how LOVED they are by you. Their first words were “da-da”, when they say who they are grateful for, they say “daddy” (and then mommy…why do I have to always come second?? Ha!), they come to you when they are scared, they miss you when you’re gone, they know you are a safe place to land. And you know what? I go to bed knowing that I am loved by you, too. You love what we love. You love my hobby of writing and decorating. You support my education goals. You support your kids’ growing interests and you’re ready to cheer them on in whatever endeavor they decide to pursue. And the three of us are so grateful. We are so grateful that you allow God’s love to flow through you to us.
Have things always been ‘perfect’? Nope. Are things ‘perfect’ right now? Nope. Will we encounter more struggles in our parenting journey? Yep. But, it’s been 12 years that I’ve been able to call you our kids’ dad, and nothing makes me more happy than celebrating you, watching you be their father, and doing this life with you daily. We love you so, so much!