This weekend, America observes Father's Day, and dads across the country will be honored with cookouts, cards and ties they may or may not wind up wearing. Most men don’t want it to be a big fuss, but those humble daddies who want the honor the least are probably those who deserve it the most.
The Book of Proverbs says that parents are the glory of their children. A father is his son’s first hero, and his daughter’s first love.
Dad is a provider and a protector. He will screw together cribs, build forts and read the same worn children’s book over and over again. He picks up toys and cleans up messes, and tends to bumps and scrapes. If something is broken, he fixes it. He will drop his work to throw a ball around for awhile - then get back to what he was doing and finish the job.
He was there when you took your first step, and when you started off to school. He is the one you ran to saying “Daddy!” when he got home from work. He is good-natured and always has a joke ready. He helps play pranks, even if it means being the object of them. When you tried to surprise him he was always surprised. You rarely saw him angry, and you tried hard to keep it that way.
Dad helps with homework and admires the finger-paintings that somehow keep showing up. He cheers you on at sporting events and applauds at dance recitals. He takes you hiking, or fishing, or hunting, or to the big game. He gives a serious and studied eye to any guy who shows up to take his daughter on a date. He can take their measure in a second because he was once a young man, too. And in loving their mother, he shows his sons the respect that a woman is due.
Whether you knew it or not, he was always worrying about you, always caring. He made decisions you never knew about that made your life better. He shielded you from knowledge of the evils of the world as long as he could. He helped give your childhood a hint of magic.
He’s the guy you told yourself as a teen you would never be like, then later found yourself trying to live up to his example. You remember the times you ignored his advice and learned from the experience the hard way. He’s the guy who, the older you get, the more sense he makes.
Dad eventually transforms into the doting grandfather, and when he holds your children you see the same gentle look in his eye that you first saw gazing back at you in your crib.
When he has passed on, Dad is the guy you think about every day and hope he is still proud of the person you have become. And you know he is still right there with you, to help and inspire you whenever you need him.
He is one of a kind, and he helped make you who you are today. You don’t just honor him on one day a year but with your whole life, which he did so much to mold. He’s your dad, your father, your papa, your old man, your daddy, your hero.
The Washington Times
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