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This morning I was in the middle of the best sleep ever, when an excited youngster bounds in and smooshes himself into the bed between his daddy and I.
"Are you awake yet, daddy?"
"Can I give him his cards, mama?"
Jumping up and down like we fed him 14 Cokes for breakfast, said child hands over cards and present while daddy opens his goodies. Open, open, open, open. Over the next three minutes the following transactions occur:
Children get in bed. Snuggle. Dad opens present and cards. Dad gets out of bed. Mom gets out of bed. Children stay in parents' bed. Mom and dad go to living room. Kid plot to kick parents out of bed = success.
Good dads open presents when they'd really rather be sleeping, because the kids are so excited. Good dads let the kids take over the bed. Good dads go to theme parks they'd really rather not go to. Good dads tuck in and cover up and carry to. Good dads wait patiently at the Justice Clothing store while their daughters are inside picking out things with glitter and rhinestones and sequins and walk around the Build-A-Bear store again. Again. Annnnnd again.
Good dads... sometimes aren't dads.
See, my dad wasn't a good dad.
When I was a kid, it was my uncle who taught me how to drive a stick shift in his orange Chevy Blazer. It was my uncle who made me get in the passenger side when I accidentally jumped the curb and flattened a shrub in the median. It was my uncle who met the boys that came calling at the door to give approval. Or not. My uncle had no kids of his own, but he was a good dad.
At a church we used to belong to, there was a gentleman who helped with the audio visuals. And honestly, just about anything you needed. He wasn't just the guy that went over your song for Sunday morning 20 times until the timing was perfect. He was the guy that saw a need and filled it, most of the time without you realizing it was him. Coats would show up for people who needed them. Food would show up for families who needed it. He always had a listening ear and a wise answer. Steve wasn't just a good dad for his family. He was a good dad for me too.
At another church we belonged to, my twins were newborns - weeks to months old. Every Sunday I'd pull up in front of the church, and before I even got out, Derrick would open the back door, grab one car seat, open the other side, grab the other car seat, and I would get the baby bag. He'd head to the nursery with me following behind where his amazing wife would keep the twins for an hour, while another good dad parked my car. Derrick was a good dad not only to his four kids, but every Sunday morning, he was a good dad for me too.
My kids have an AWESOME dad. But the four of us go to Uncle Jer's several times a year. Jer's not their real dad, but he lets them come into his squeaky clean bachelor pad and wreak havoc for a week, teaches them patiently how to plant gardens, and cook ribs, and waits outside of the Disney Store patiently. Because even though he's not their dad, he's a good dad.
Good dads aren't always birth dads. They aren't always the ones that let you kick them out of bed on Father's Day. Good dads are the good men in your life that care. They take time to do for others and put themselves last. Good dads are sometimes coworkers, and bosses, and church friends. They are Carl Fredricksen from Up. They are granddads and neighbors.
Find the good dads.
Tell them how much they mean to you.
Tell them what their five minutes each Sunday means to you, even 10 years later.
My dad wasn't such a great dad. But my heavenly father gave me other good dads along the way. Amazing dads. Maybe you have a good dad. Maybe you get to thank God for your good dad the way I thank God for my husband.
But if you don't, find the good dads. They're out there. The ones your heavenly father leaves for you on this earth.
Because of all the dads who care for kids theirs and not theirs... of all the dads who do things for their kids when they don't deserve it... of all the dads who love their kids, HE is the best dad of all.
Happy Father's Day To ALL The Good Dads