On this Father’s Day, let me just say this…
Too often dads get such a bad rap. They didn’t do this when we were growing up, or they did too much of that. Well, I personally think it’s time to lighten up on dads. We know they’re not wired like mothers so why are we trying to compare the two? In doing so, fathers are almost always going to fall short and that’s just not fair.
Dads are terrific when left in their own league–left to express themselves in the way they know best. They’re typically not going to be as loving and sensitive as you’d like but yet, they show their affection in other ways like providing substance. Why can’t THAT be enough? Acceptable? Redeeming?
I don’t know about other dads, but here’s what I know about mine…
He didn’t change not one single diaper (so the story goes) of any of us five kids. Waa, waa, waa. But you know what? Here’s what he WAS doing as a young 20- to 27-year old while all these babies were being born and needing diapers changed:
1) Finishing his undergraduate degree
2) Then working on his master’s degree
3) Pastoring not one, but two, start-up churches
4) Working full time at the post-office on his feet all day
5) Keeping a roof over our head and food on the table
He didn’t hug us every single day and didn’t say “I love you.” Waa, waa, waa. But you know what?
1) He never cheated on my mom
2) We didn’t have to find out later in life we have siblings we never knew about
3) He cared about our education
4) He kept a roof over our head and food on the table
He was very strict and spanked us a lot. Waa, waa, waa. (No, really, waa, waa, waa because those beatings hurt like hell!). But, here’s what we have to show for that.
1) Not one single child out of five was ever suspended from school for bad behavior
2) Not one single child ever became addicted to drugs or alcohol
3) Not one single child ever served jail time
4) All five studied some college courses
5) Three of the five were in college at the same time
6) Two of the five have gone on to receive secondary college degrees
7) All five became gainfully employed right out of high school (and even during high school to varying degrees) and have remained employed or with their own business since then
8) All five have learned to keep a roof over our families’ heads and food on the table
He wasn’t home a lot and rarely made it to my school events because, after all, he had a lot of church people and issues to tend to. We didn’t have a lot of money because he was “called” into a profession where “money for yourself” is not your main focus (well, not for some pastors, anyway). We ate more than our fair share of beans and franks and we always had to share bedrooms BUT he always kept a roof over our head and food on the table.
I’ve written many books for many clients who had drug-addicted parents, or were subjected to incest and physical abuse, or never even saw their dad. Not because he was out helping other people but because he was in the streets and sleeping with other women. If I were to whine about the things my parents didn’t do for me to these people, they’d look at me like I was an ungrateful, selfish little you-know-what! Therefore, I am very grateful for the parents I have.
I know my father is not perfect but he is and has been perfect for me. I try not to blame him and others for my previous low self-esteem and lack of confidence. I will just say, “Thank you, Dad, for everything!”
This day, and every day forward, I’m setting a precedent to accept my father as the king that he is. To not focus on his short-comings but appreciate him for the numerous good things he’s done for me and on my behalf. Driving me to/from that special art class I was enrolled in when I was very, very young. Picking me up at 12 midnight every weeknight, from my college summer job instead of making me take a bus home. Sending me money in college whenever I needed it when a lot of times it was simply to cover my long distance phone bill due to calls to my boyfriend. There’s so much more!
Here’s a good rule we can all follow when dealing with ANYONE:
A little less coal-raking; A lot more whole-making.
Terri, aka t-RAW
Get Your RAW On! Reach And Win!