Today, I saw a picture on Facebook (re-posted by a friend) in honor of Father’s Day. The caption read something along the lines of, “Thanks for always being there for me, Dad.” The picture was of a baby, held up to a window, and on the other side of the glass was his father in prison.
This might have been funny to me, in a “That’s sad, but it’s still funny” kind of way, at other points in my life.
But with my dad sitting in a federal prison now himself, it seems to have lost its wit.
There will always be part of me that feels a bit cynical regarding Father’s Day, and other mushy references toward fathers, at least when I reflect on my own father. He wasn’t there for me, or for any of my eight siblings for that matter. He has an addiction, and he has been unable to find (or stay on) the road to recovery, unfortunately.
Thankfully, though, God provided me with a great stepdad who provided for our family financially and created a sense of normalcy in our lives. In our younger years, he wasn’t as touchy-feely as he is now, since most men soften with age, but he has always been consistent, reliable, and responsible. He also probably appreciated my somewhat tomboyish nature since there were no little boys in our family, and he taught me some essential skills for life, like fishing, riding a bike, and belching with vigor.
This year on Father’s Day, I think my focus might be more easily shifted away from what I could choose to dwell upon, which would inevitably put a damper on the day. Since we’re expecting the arrival of our baby in November, this will be James’ first Father’s Day as a father himself.
And what a father he is. He’s already planning and preparing for the arrival of our baby and working diligently to ensure that we have what we need to provide the best home possible. He is spiritually grounded, morally sound, and emotionally rock-solid.
Everything I have missed out on in my relationship with my father, our child will get back ten-fold, thanks to the best dad in the world. Our child will be able to say, and never doubt, “My dad is my hero.”
He’s mine, too.