Tomorrow is Father's Day. I am going to focus today on my husband and not my own dad, mostly because I, like most of you, am at a point in my life where being the parent is center stage. I hope you will indulge me.
Mother's have very hard jobs. We are usually the ones in the trenches when the kids get sick, when they fight, when they're bored, when they're annoyed or hungry or tired. But, let's not forget about what dad's do either. Sometimes, we need to search beyond the obvious and look at the big picture. How does "dad" live his life day to day?
Freddie does not sit with a textbook and teach "math"... but he teaches our kids lessons that are just as, if not more important.
He is always up at night with me when one of our kids is sick. He doesn't have to be. He just does it out of concern for his child. Our kids see that a father/man should be compassionate and nurturing.
If the kids are giving me a run for my money, one phone call to him is all it takes to get them back on track! They know that they are always accountable to someone and discipline is swift. They are learning that every action has a consequence- either good or bad, but it comes directly from the choices they make.
He gets up every day without ever complaining and goes to work~ and works HARD for us. We have never had to go without something we needed. When a hurricane tore the roof off of our house, he never broke down- he jumped in with both feet and began rebuilding our lives right away. He would work a full day and then come home and work like a dog until the wee hours of the morning! He takes his job as provider and protector very seriously and does his job well. We all feel safer when he's home. And I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he would lay down his life for any one of us without a second thought. He is teaching our kids about hard work by requiring them to do chores around the house. Our kids know that a man/father/husband should be giving and strong and hardworking. They know that he should put his family first and do whatever it takes to make sure his family is taken care of.
He is a good example of what a husband should be, not only for our sons, but for our daughters too! He has never layed a hand on me, even though I would have deserved it a couple of times. He teaches our kids that they are to respect me, not only as their mother, but as his wife! Freddie and I rarely fight, but, our kids have seen us disagree. We don't believe in "knock down, drag out" fighting in front of our kids, but we want them to see that even though we don't always get along we still are committed to each other and we still love each other. They see that relationships take compromise. They see that sometimes you have to say "I'm sorry" and that sometimes you must exercise tolerance. They know that just because you have an argument you don't stop loving and respecting the other person. They are learning how to resolve conflicts.
I love how he is patient with our kids when he teaches them things. He will let Brant take 20 minutes to unscrew a screw that would take him literally 20 seconds to unscrew. He has been bringing them hunting since they were 2 years old! Both of my boys have taken a deer. He talks to them like they are people and not "kids". He will watch the same movies with them over and over and he will watch them play PS3 or Wii for hours! He treats our girls like the princesses they are and I am so jealous that they can be "daddy's little girls" (I'm not jealous of their relationship with him, just that I never had that relationship with my own dad.) He loves spending time with them and they know it. They are learning that the gift of oneself is truly important.
He teaches our kids by example. He is honestly one of, if not the most unselfish person I have ever met. When Freddie is your friend you are blessed because he is a good friend- loyal and giving. Even when it is difficult, he treats others in a way that he would like to be treated, (knowing he may not be given the same concession) simply because it is the right thing to do. He does not have many sciptures memorized, but I can tell you he is very sure of how God wants us to live and treat each other and he does his best daily to follow that guide. This is probably the most important way that he teaches our kids. They are learning that the right thing is not always the easy thing- but it is ALWAYS worth it in the end.
Freddie has a confidence about himself that I cannot fathom. He knows his worth~ to himself, to us, to his family, to his friends, and to God. He is humble all the while exuding confidence. I see this quality developing in my kids. They are learning that no one is better than them, but they are not better than anyone else.
I am not saying that he is perfect. He makes mistakes. We all do. But, let's all try to sit back and look at what our kids' Dad does day to day and give him due credit. It may not be in the obvious, overt displays of "teaching", but he is crucial to their learning and growing on so many levels. We cannot do this daunting job of parenting on our own. Let's thank Dad for being a great husband and example for our kids. Let's acknowledge that our jobs would be so much more difficult if not for the daily sacrifices and efforts and displays of love, patience, and respect of our husbands!
Happy Father's Day!