It’s Father’s Day!!!
Today I was standing next to my mother in church as our pastor was closing out his sermon on Father’s Day. My dad was standing at the front of the church with the other deacons. I glanced over to my mom. She was fighting back tears. We were about to pray when I heard her whisper, “you guys are so lucky to have him.”
Lucky seems an incredibly inadequate word when trying to articulate the blessing that is my dad.
As a teenager, I was quite the hellion. I put my parents through enough to give them a full head of premature grey hairs. Thankful they clung to their youthfulness.
There are many things I did during those years that I’m not proud of. Despite how rough I made things for our household during high school, the event that twists my inside with shame actually took place in my elementary school gymnasium when I was about 8 years old.
I know! What could an 8-year-old possibly do to her parents, specifically her father, that was so bad that it still haunts her 21 years later? You’re just dying to know so I’ll tell ya.
Our school was hosting a dance, I think it was a Valentine’s Day Dance or something. It was how it goes at these elementary events – a bunch of shy babies trying to look cool as they cling to their chaperones’ sides, avoiding the dance floor as it was really hot lava.
I remember there was one song that filled the dance floor though – the father-daughter dance.
Some people were born with music staff lines instead of veins. My dad is one of those people. So when he asked me to dance with him, holding out his hand to me as a gentleman ought to, it was no surprise he had this genuine, wonderfully handsome smile lighting up his young face.
That smile. He kept it plastered on after I declined his request to spin me around the gym.
My memory of that night isn’t the best, and it may be a symptom of the utter regret I felt when I realized how much of a punch in the gut it must’ve been, but in my mind, after I said I was too embarrassed to dance with my dad, his smile felt broken to me.
I don’t know if he remembers that moment. We have been blessed enough to make many memories together since then.
And we finally got our dance. Ten years later my dad took my hand and led me on the dance floor for our father-daughter dance shortly after giving me away at the altar.
We call my dad “Superman” in our family. His is the prince charming every wife deserves, and the Brian Mills that every daughter deserves. He’s fiercely protective, with a heart too big for his chest. His faith and the wisdom he has grained through his relationship with God are things I still seek comfort from to this day.
On Father’s Day, I have so many reach out and tell me “Happy Father’s Day” because I have been doing this parenting thing alone since I was pregnant. Except… I haven’t. Yes, I have responsibilities that many moms are able to confidently entrust to their children’s dad. I wear many shoes and often throw way to much on my plate. And while I have always been the one to get my sons up in the morning and put them to bed at night, I haven’t been raising them alone. I have had an amazing village surrounding me, and of that village, my dad is hands down the most important person in it.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad, who I can confidently say is the BEST dad out there. =P
Happy Father’s Day to all you other dads and stepdads. I implore you to wake up and consciously refuse to be passive in your parenting. Make your love for your children a constant action in all moments of your lives.
Lastly, I want to say Happy Father’s Day to you mom’s, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, grandparents, and everyone else who has taken on the important role of Dad in someone’s life. Whether you know it or not, you are a unique human and you are appreciated.
Now, I promised my boys movie time with mom, so I bid thee farewell!
Lots of love – Destiny