Father’s Day is about realizing our blessings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I never counted myself particularly blessed.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I was grateful for many things God sent my way, but I didn’t ever think of myself as a blessed person.

Oh, I always had plenty to be thankful about, and things have always worked out OK, even when there were rough spots.

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Notice the past tense here.

A few years ago, I learned what God’s blessings were all about.

That was, as the Bible says, “revealed unto me” at the birth of my first child. It was amazing.

Then came Blessings Two and Three. And then Blessing Four. And they were special and even further demonstrated God’s blessings on this old boy.

A lot of men can father a child, but only the blessed can be a daddy. That’s how I know I’m blessed right there.

I’m not exactly a perfect daddy. Sometimes “the Ninja Princess” (our pet name for Mary Lacy, the 4 year-old) really gets my consternation level up. Often it gets too loud to hear yourself think. That’s pretty annoying, too.

I don’t think any of us are perfect daddies, but that doesn’t negate the blessing.

I remember vividly saying something like, “I’ll never do that to MY kids,” when my dad acted one way or another.

I went through life up until I had a child of my own just not understanding parenting. Well, that’s a stretch because I still don’t understand it – I just do it.

An older friend of mine once made the statement that until someone has children they simply do not understand life.

I tend to agree with that statement because parenting makes one consider life from a completely different perspective.

Most learn – some sooner than others – that parenting legitimizes the family, and that you’ve never really lived until you’ve had to change shirts six times before getting out of the house for work because babies seem to be allergic to crisp, clean, starched button-down shirts.

Scholars define parenting in many terms, but the only one I have to understand is the blessing part.

You see, when daddies learn to recognize that children are Heaven-sent blessings, rather than extra baggage to lug around, then you start seeing families succeed.

Even under the harshest conditions, loving, close-knit families exist because Daddy’s there as the glue that holds the binding in place.

What thanks do us fathers get for all this binding?

This Sunday, we’ll get a new tie or a shirt or maybe breakfast in bed (I hope mine are taking notes here).

In churches all across the land, the newest dads and the youngest dads and the oldest dads will get recognized.

Wives will give cards and gifts, too.

The best present I could ever hope for is a hug around the neck from my own, complete with a big kiss on the cheek and an “I love you, Daddy.”

Those are gifts for which there is no competition.

On Father’s Day, us dads will find out just how much we’re appreciated, and the only measuring stick for that is love.

And we should realize, too, that Father’s Day is really about recognizing the unique blessing God bestows on men.

The blessing of fatherhood.

And higher laundry bills – but they grow out of that eventually.

Clif Lusk is editor of The Times. Contact him via e-mail at clif.lusk@demopolistimes.com.