Growing up, I basically only got to see my own father in the position of ‘father’ (we knew literally no one outside the immediate family). There were many reasons, but he never got to be the dad I imagine he could have been, and maybe even wanted to be. I do have good memories, though, of being a little girl and him coming home from work and playing ‘Bear’ with us. Him on all fours on the floor with us squealing to get away from him while he growled and crawled after us. He would try to do things like take us to Guilford Lake to fish, and one year he put a ton of work into building us a heavy duty, huge wooden swing set with a climbing rope, 4 swings, and a sandbox. He taught me to drive and was often the passenger who got drug around to my work and then trade school the year I went. He told a few stories about his time as a POW during WWII, and I remember him, on one of our many trips to and from places, warning me to make sure I find the right one and never get a divorce because in his experience it’s so bad, but there were many areas of his life that are still a mystery. I miss my dad, but situations even he allowed to happen have kept the silence between us for over 6 years.
Most of my experience with involved fathers comes from seeing my father in law, men from our church and most recently, my dear husband, in action. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by many of these wonderful traits, and am so thankful for the chance now to be blessed by them.
#1 They would give anything for their loved ones
Dad (Hubby’s) would give his arm and leg and probably an important organ to make sure his kids (and their spouses) and grandkids were safe and taken care of. I can’t even begin to mention all the times he’s dropped everything to come rescue one of his kids – either from house disasters like plumbing issues that meant no toilet until fixed, cars falling apart at a stop sign (the front end of our Bonneville – suffice it to say it was not one of our nice ones), and he wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to go with us to support me in confronting situations from my past. He also has lamented the addition of my family to his, and would welcome any one of them with open arms (and a sarcastic comment 😉 ) should they ever desire.
Ryan has spent the last almost 5 years of our marriage working his butt off for me and, the last year, our son. He is gone 50 some hours for work, has a TON of responsibilities at our church Sundays, Wednesdays and any other day needed, and then comes home to work hard every available night and the weekends on this never-ending, whole house renovation project. He also never fails to try to encourage me, or will drop everything to take me out or go to the grocery store because there’s only one thing in the world that sounds edible right now. I can’t even imagine how he has the energy every day to keep going, but he never fails to keep doing it for us.
Our buddy, John, from church is a lot like my father-in-law. Sarcastic, loves to pick on you about anything and everything, has a contagious laugh and smile, and would give anything for his family. Oh, and his family includes everyone he cares about. Our son lights up to see him and always reaches his hand out for him. Last time he left our house, Baby Boy let out blood-curdling screams and threw one of his first temper tantrums. O.o He has spent many an hour helping us pack up and move the last time, unpack and now has been a frequent companion to my husband during many of the house projects.
#2 They have unmatched, often unappreciated, intellect and experience
My husband can fix anything. Literally. Hair dryers, straight irons, laptops, car radios, speakers, broken dishes, and the list goes on and on. If he doesn’t have the knowledge already stored away ready to pull out when needed, he researches and figures it out in order to know it is done right. With him and his brilliant, untapped brain, we have saved untold amounts of money. Brakes, transmission rebuilding, all sorts of car work, all kinds of plumbing and electrical, building kitchen cabinets, carpentry, woodworking, he even welded the bottom of his Bonneville back together with the help of a friend and it lasted years. That’s the very short list of what he can do. He never ceases to amaze me. He’s also super talented at knowing when something is bothering me, making me smile even when I don’t want to and taking care of me through health problems, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. He is the reason I am as sane today as I am ( 😉 ), and he was my biggest fan and supporter through the worst time in my life. He can also get our son to sleep better than I can, after almost the entire first year of not even doing it. I can’t imagine life without his awesomeness.
Dad (Hubby’s) is on speed dial for when something house or car related is urgent and Hubby isn’t sure about it. I love having that dependable (albeit nutty) influence in our life. He can fix anything to do with a lawn mower, rebuilds John Deere’s, flips houses and has a lot of the same skills as hubby. He spent many, many, many (read: countless) hours in the barn with my hubby when he was growing up, teaching him about engine repair and working with his hands.
#3 They have feelings too, even though it’s often like pulling cemented posts out of the ground with your bare hands to get them to show them
Hubby says he has a feeling. A singular one. In other words, unlike the rest of the population that has feelings, he has one. I have never doubted that revelation. He is so level-headed and even keel, it’s like seeing a ghost to see him down, upset, angry or hurt. Even in the face of stressful situations, he handles them with grace and, often, a smile or full-belly laugh. Especially if his dad is involved. 😉 I can always count on him to see the good in a situation, and he’s the first to be excited about possibilities.
Dad and John alike, are sarcastic to a fault and love to poke fun and laugh, but they have soft gooey centers. 😉 Dad is the first to call or text incessantly or arrive at your house to make sure everything is ok, and he is quicker to give you a hug than some of the women in my life. Same for John. They fiercely defend their loved ones and would never do anything they knew could cause you (real) trouble.
These are only a few of the many things these men are to me in my life. I have never been so thankful for caring, competent, loving, strong men who are everything (or many of the things) that God designed a man to be. I know it’s easy, soooooo easy, to see the faults and misgivings in our men, but I encourage you to take some time to find the good things! And then, *drum roll* TELL THEM. If they are super against mushy stuff, make sure to make it extra drippy and sappy. 😉 It might do those good ole’ boys some good to get a taste of their own medicine. 😉
In other words, love on, appreciate and respect the men in your life! <3