An enduring image from my childhood is a black and white photo of my father sitting on a black vinyl lazy boy with me nestled in his lap in a giggled rhapsody. Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe that Dad’s beard ever had a colour (white isn’t a colour, right?) and I’m rather impressed that the glasses he wore back then, would be considered stylish today.
It just makes me remember…my dad. The joy of playing catch with him, how right it was when we worked together delivering furniture or the righteous fear he imbedded in me should I ever hit my sister or disrespect my mother.
Allow me to flash forward…when I came home today my baby crawled to me. He can’t say it but I know and feel that he just wants daddy. A look, a touch, heck—even a raspberry on one of his chubby legs. My daughter borrowed lip gloss from her sister in anticipation of tonight’s daddy-daughter date. My other two kids demanded different forms of daddy time too. One needed to be wrestled, tickled, and tossed around like the balloon included in a kids meal. The other, who felt like the flu was trying separate her from her digestive organs, needed her back rubbed and the assurance that it would not.
Moms, I am in awe of all you do. You do much and ask for so little. Me? Once I took all four kids to the local big-box book store. I bragged about it to anyone who’d listen and demanded that folk ballads be sung to my bravery and skill. But there is something about “dad”. It’s relational Brylcream—a little dab’ll do ya. Kait usually does EVERYTHING, all day. Every day. Yet I’m greeted like a rock star every time I come home from work.
Dads, you know what I’m saying. Inexplicably, your kids mistake your smart phone and mini van for crime-fighting computer and Bat-mobile. We’re treated like superheroes. Moms you’ve noticed too. And I know, it’s not fair.
Remember, while here on earth, we see through dim glass. But it seems like God wants us to succeed. All the favour we get from our kids makes me think that we we’re preconditioned to be drawn to the Father. Perhaps He knows something about that mutual delight between child and father.
At home it seems like traffic, bills, losing sports teams, the drama of work, and ice storms in the middle of April all try to diminish my ability to experience the delight my kids want to take in their daddy. I can’t tell how satisfying it was to push that stuff aside and connect with each one of them today.
The same pressures and distractions prevent me from settling into that proverbial easy chair with my Father. Perhaps there’s hard work for us to share or a healthy, holy fear that I’ve lost sight of. Either way, there’s one more kid here who feels that his DAD is a superhero and has his heart set on making that connection.