I was reading a blog recently about a woman who had lost her father as a girl. She wrote about her missing him and how it affected her now as a mother. The thing is this woman said she envied her children their father? Hmm. . . should we envy our children.
I would LOVE to have Sarah, Lizzie and Beka's thick beautiful eye lashes, it's true or the dimple each girl has on one cheek when she smiles, but envy them their relationship with their dad? No. My dad passed away unexpectedly when I was five years old. And it shaped my life, definitely. It shaped how I looked at men, how I interact with other people (he was more a social butterfly than my mom) so I might be doing better and then there is the fact that I would never had had to put up with a mentally ill, abusive stepfather. But envy my girls that they have their dad and a wonderful relationship? NO!
Until I married Chris, I skipped Father's Day at church. Nothing like shoving a dagger deep into your heart than sitting there watching other people moon over their dads. But something shifted when I met Chris. I used to think I would be a little melancholy when I got married, that I would be thinking about how I wished Dad were there. But when I married Chris all I cared about was being with him and being married. When we were expecting Lizzie I enjoyed shopping for his cards from Lizzie and Sarah and snuck them into his duffel bag at the bottom for him to find out in the field for annual training. I still enjoy making sure the girls spoil Chris on Father's Day. But something else helped.
The year I became pregnant with Beka, Chris was at annual training and I attended church. In truth, I had forgotten about it being Father's Day. Sarah and Lizzie were with Mary and Ted in Idaho, so I had lost track of the days. Maybe I would have ditched, but I didn't and the pastor shared a story about a boy who began attending a church as a small child. His father never married his mother and had abandoned them both. For years this boy felt odd, like an outcast and outsider. Then a new pastor came to church and as luck would have it he preached on Father's Day. The young man was walking out and the pastor reached to shake his hand and asked where his dad was. The silence in the church became suddenly awkward, the pastor realizing quickly looked at the young man and smile, "Oh you came to meet the best Father of them all today - your Heavenly Father." That moment changed that young man's life - he went on to become a very successful man as he got older. And a man of great faith (the name was not shared in the story). I had never thought of it that way before, I didn't have to miss my Dad, because I had the best Dad of them all - God! It helped and I don't feel like ditching on Father's Day anymore either. It helps that Chris is retired now too - so no more annual training etc. . .
I guess what got me thinking is, why would you envy your own child? Isn't the point of being a parent that you want your children to have a better experience than you had? So far my girls are having an excellent example of their Heavenly Father's love and I LOVE that. I love that my children don't know the pain of a Father's Day watching other children and longing for a Dad who is in Heaven. I pray that they not know this pain for years.
Have a good week.