Happy Father's Day
I am thankful for all of you out there who have been a father and/or a mentor to some lucky person. The value of your work is immeasurable. I have been fortunate to be associated with several wonderful fathers including Ward, his father, and my very own father.
Below is one of the first stories I remember about my father. I have it shared with you before, but I will tell it again because it is one I often think about around Father's Day.
When we were growing up, my father looked like the stereotypical father from the 1960's. He worked hard as a lineman to provide for us while our mother did more of the childcare and housework. In addition, he was a man's man, who was strong and excelled at all of the things that men did in our rural area—hunting, fishing, boating, and marksmanship.
However if you looked a little deeper, you found that he was more than he appeared to be. For example, when I was a baby, he did all of the cooking for my sisters while my mother tried night and day to get me to stop crying. He let us hang out with him after work while he played cards with his buddies and held our hand as we walked home. However, there was one time in particular that he showed a sensitive and wise side that I will never forget.
|The new baby and her sisters|
I was four years old, the baby of the family, and the world revolved around me as far as I was concerned. That is why I was so shocked when my father woke us one morning and said, “Your mother had a baby last night.”
How could that be? I hadn't heard anything about a new baby coming. Of course, my mother later said that we had talked about it and I had even gotten a new bed in anticipation of the coming baby. But none of that had registered with me. I guess that's how things worked in my self-absorbed four-year-old mind. At any rate, I wasn't too sure how I felt about this new situation.
That changed, however, the day they brought my sister home from the hospital. We were all gathered around the door and I was sitting on the steps out of the way. My father was the first to enter carrying the new bundle and he immediately put her in my arms. He didn't wait until my mother was inside. He didn't hand her to my older sisters, he gave her to me. I felt so special that in that moment I decided that having this new baby around might not be so bad.