Father’s Day is here again, and again my thoughts wonder to the amazement that is my daddy. As I frantically went from store-to-store trying to find something with monetary worth to present to him on his special day it dawned on me, as it often does, especially this time of the year, that no shirt, PJs, gift cards, tool set or colognes can ever convey the true depth of the value of a real, good father. A true father is priceless.
I wrote of my daddy, Sylvester Scott in a blog post a couple of years ago titled “I Salute You Daddy”. (Take a peek so you too can see how special he is.) I know he’s not unique in his love for his children and family. There are many men who exemplify the designed definition of father, despite what society might hope to show otherwise. Often I feel that fathers are our best versions of unsung heroes. That’s not fair and it’s not right. I’ve been blessed to know and see so many men of varying ages and stages of life make the ultimate sacrifice of being called Daddy.
I’ve seen the fathers go without simple things like food or new, and much needed clothing, to make sure their children have. I’ve known the fathers who work extremely long days, drive across town to pick up children, coach organized sports, make time for impactful conversation and turn around again and do it the next day…with a rarely fading smile. I know the fathers who have taken on the role of teacher to transfer to their children the lessons learned (both good and bad) to make sure they enter the world with feet firmly planted and ready to move forward. I’ve seen the “weekend warriors” (the fathers with shared custody) not just settle for 1st and 3rd week visitations, but strategically rearrange work schedules to have a desired presence in their children’s life every, single week. I’ve seen the father with growing children of his own take time to mentor, love, guide and nurture other children in need never letting his own family lack because of his calling to help others. I’ve seen the widowed father press through tears and grief to rear strong, loving children. I’ve seen the father who’s made mistakes use those very mistakes to become better and provide better for his family. I’ve seen the man, with no children of his own, take on the role of permanent, legal father to the child without parents, then smoothly transition his family forward when his wife and he were blessed with two more sons of their own. I know the father who got up in the middle of the night for months after his wife gave birth so that she could rest and he could bond with his baby girl. I know the father who proudly sat his 6’3 frame in a school-size chair with the Girl Scouts and their mothers to be the only male present at the annual Easter Basket making session. I’ve seen the grandfather who stepped back in to don the title of daddy for children without present father. I’ve seen the father who works one full-time job and two part-times at one time to keep the lights on. I’ve seen the father completely comfortable out of his comfort zone to give his children the life he never had. I’ve seen the weary eyes, the gritty, legal hustle and grind, the depleted bank statements, the spiritual fortitude, the silently loud tears and the late-night “I’ve got to figure this out for the sake of my family” internal sessions that make my father and all of the wonderful fathers of the world be worthy of being called Daddy.