As a Dad my face is flushed, I know I made mistakes.
I wasn’t absent, yet
I realize that I could have done more.
I didn’t understand that then
Still, I feel humbled and warm when my kids say, “Thanks for being my Dad.”
It feels like they’re saying, “You’re not perfect Dad, but being a father never has been an option for you, and we salute that.”
What I believe I did semi-right:
I often got involved in my children’s lives, even though it sometimes made them uncomfortable.
I attended baseball games and clapped, roared, and whistled.
I paced the sidelines at soccer games and voiced my approval (and disapproval).
I sat, until I couldn’t, then anxiously walked the deck at city swim meets.
Most of the time I hung out with my boy when he needed me to.
Most of the time I hung out with my girl when she needed me to.
I was the rare father attending PTA meetings. The chairperson acknowledged my presence, “Sir! Sir! Will you kindly take your seat and let someone else have the floor?”
I sat them on my lap when they were tiny and read to them.
I poured my (limited) wisdom into their innocence.
I didn’t beg or bribe them to get better grades on their report cards. Besides this,
I took them camping until their Mom said she wouldn’t, any longer, sleep on the ground in a tent. (That’s when we bought the red Toyota pickup with a camper shell and threw a double sized mattress in the back—remember?)
I let them win at games (okay, sometimes).
I was fairly civil to those who wanted to date my daughter.
We, often, ate dinner or lunch or breakfast together.
We went to church as a family.
I taught them to value the Bible because
I value it.
I prayed with them and for them (and I still do).
I loved (and love) their Mom.
At the time, I don’t think I had motives much beyond, “I want my kids to grow up healthy and become responsible, God honoring, citizens.”
Now though, I’m hoping they won’t be embarrassed to be around me when I need my diaper changed.