That has got to be the sweetest sound in existence. To hear my kids call me “Daddy.” In fact, my girls, 22 and 18, still call me that. My 9 year old son still calls me that. And though it might embarrass him to see it in print, my 19 year old still does it more often than you might think. But I love it.
I love it, because next to being a husband (see the previous mushy gush post for that), being a Dad is absolutely my favorite part of this life. There are lots of things I enjoy. I love being a pastor, and I love my church family, and I love all my other relations (even the in-laws!). But I LOVE being a dad.
I remember vividly the day our oldest was born. I remember getting a speeding ticket on the way to the hospital because I was out of gas and panicking. (I also remember the “couldn’t care less” officer who didn’t even check on my wife but calmly wrote the ticket while I pumped gas). I remember the hospital room, and the little baby hospital bracelet on the dresser. I remember the moment our daughter came boldly into the world and the joy and elation Cheryl and I both felt at the beautiful human being. I remember the similar sights and sounds involved with each of the other three, and the joy and elation didn’t diminish a bit. That’s one experience that never got old.
Of course there have been countless other memorable days in the 22 years since. Gymnastic classes, and horse riding, and baseball/softball games, and music lessons, and homeschooling, and one or two vacations along the way. Not all the memories are good, of course. You all know that. The accidents, the stitches, the broken bones, the scary moments of life when being Daddy is a helpless feeling because Daddy can’t fix it. But all in all, it’s been good.
We’ve been so blessed. Our oldest is about to graduate Magna Cum Laude from college (not bad for homeschoolers who didn’t know what we were doing!). Our middle two are looking at college, working hard at their respective musical talents, writing talents, photography talents, and well, working hard at work. And we’ve got that little surprise blessing that came after we thought our family was finished growing. Now we’re getting to do so many of those fun things over again.
But through it all, I get to be the Daddy. I get to be the guy who they think has the answers (most of the time; well…sometimes; well…once in awhile). I get to be the guy that cheers them on a bad day, although I still have the be the guy to cause them to have a bad day once in awhile, too. (Never too old to get a whoopin’, buddy!). I get so many blessings out of this. All in all being a Dad is the most wonderful, exciting, fulfilling, challenging, frustrating, painful, fun, distracting, rewarding thing in life.
I am so thankful for these four blessings from God. I’m looking forward to meeting the two blessings we missed out on in this world. And to my kids, I’d just say this: You didn’t have a choice about who your father is, but thanks for letting me be your Daddy.