As Father's Day approaches, I know many people have mixed emotions. Some people rejoice in the day because they are able to celebrate the special men in their lives. Some dread the day because it brings up bad memories of having a horrible dad or the absence of one. Others will feel a sense of void because they have lost that special man in their lives. Regardless of the circumstances, I feel it is important to recognize the special men in my life. Please know that I am sensitive to those who have bad memories of their father due to abuse or abandonment or other reasons.
With that aside, I do feel that sometimes we give men a bad wrap. I could sit here and tell you about my dad's faults but I know that he is not perfect. My parents divorced when I was still a toddler. I do remember my Dad always picking me up when it was his turn to have me. I know he would do everything in his power to protect me. My Dad is a macho man who can be hard at times but I always have known he loves me. We didn't have the closest relationship growing up but that has changed a lot since I have been married and had kids of my own. I can look back now and see that my Dad may not be perfect but he has influenced my life in so many ways that I can't thank him enough for. I still will never forget the butt-whoopin I got from him from spilling milk in his truck. We laugh about that all the time now. He always practiced softball with me and made me the best 3rd basemen I could be. He is the only one who calls me by my middle name "Diamond." I won't even give Bryan permission to call me that. He is the first to always call me on my birthday even if it is at 6 in the morning. He has always worked hard from sun up to sun down and with his hands. He taught me to mow and Bryan should thank him for that because I love to mow now. Just the other day I sent him a picture of Christian mowing the yard. His response was "the yard man stops with me." I don't feel that way at all. I love my Dad for being a hard worker. I admire that about him! He has his ways but he is my Dad and I thank God for the influence he has had in my life and for loving me the best way he knows how.
Now with Bryan in my life, I have been able to see fatherhood in a different light. I fall in love with that man more each day when I see him with our kids. He would give up everything just to know his kids are happy and safe. He is a disciplinarian but he is the fun one. He wrestles. He raps. He shoots baskets, throws footballs and swings bats. He goes to school parties even if sometimes he is the only Dad there. He makes 3 different types of breakfast each morning. He is the one who rubs their backs when they relax on the couch. He tells them he is proud of them often. He gives hugs and says "I love you." He doesn't just get on to them when they do wrong, he sits down and explains things to them. He says he is sorry to them when he is wrong even if he isn't wrong very often. He doesn't just take them to church, he is a walking example of a Godly father. He lays hands on them when they go to bed and prays for them often. He not only loves his own kids but he has tons of others in his life that he treats like his own. I don't know how much more I can love that man. But when I see the brown in my boy's eyes sparkle, I see their Daddy even more. Thank you God for blessing me with Bryan Rhodes.
I am so fortunate to have great men in my life. I addition to my father and Bryan, I have had the privilege of getting to know an amazing man who has become my step dad. He loves my mom and has made her happy and is one of the most giving people I know. My brothers are doing outstanding jobs with their kids as well. I also have the privilege of working with some great men. Each one of them love their kids so much and you can see their faces light up when they talk about them. They are family men who provide and are active in their kid's lives. I am also grateful to the men who have coached my boys, taught them, and who have just been family friends. Those men have made a difference in my boy's lives by their own choice. Men don't realize just how important they are to us. They are called to such an important job and I am thankful that many of them rise up to it. Thank you guys for being such a great part of my life and my boy's lives. Sure you stink at times and laugh at the most obnoxious things, and leave the toilet seat up, and hurt our feelings by some random thing you say. But you also make us feel safe, stand up for what is right, kill the nasty bug crawling across the floor, and makes us feel loved like no one else can. You men rock!
Before I go, I have to thank my Heavenly father. Without Him in my life, I am nothing. His love for me cannot be compared. His love is flawless and endless. He only gives me the best and He is showing me over and over again just how much He has planned for me. Thank you Lord for being the greatest father of all.