The Dads We Are Gifted With
(Posted June 17, 2020)
There’s one thing that’s always clear to me each year: it’s much, much harder to accurately write about what’s it’s like to be a Dad than it is when it’s Mother’s Day. Why is that?
Although every single person has a Dad, there seem to be many more “models” of the “Father-Child” relationship than with mothers.
You have the wonderful, fully engaged Dad who’s not only YOUR father, but who parents your friends, too when you are little.
There’s the Dad who has bought into our culture’s idea that work-work-work and being a good provider are the mark of “a real man,” although there’s not much time for kids in that approach.
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Then there’s the father who is not there most of the time, either because his own world is clouded with challenges, or perhaps it’s because that’s the model of fathering he learned from his Dad.
Finally there is the unknown father who met one’s mother for the only time in a petri dish.
And of course, all of us have a Heavenly Creator who ignited the spark of life in us and numbers every hair on our head. This Sunday we will talk about just such a famous father. Regardless of what model Dad we are gifted with, time spent with our Dads is something golden and magical. There is a closeness, a bonding that exceeds DNA and lingers in our memories on a day like Father’s Day.
I especially remember the golden moments with my father when he was happy. Happiness came for him at the end of the evening, after that cocktail, when he would put on a Strauss Waltz, and dance and dance with his little girl. It washed away for just a little while the depression he suffered from, and created my memories. Perhaps that’s why Theodore Roethke’s ode to his own Dad when he was a little boy rings true to me, and I share it with you all: