Happy Father’s Day

at a Cinco de Mayo Party 2011

As I watched John William drive away this morning on his way to Camp Hobe I couldn’t help but offer a silent, secret prayer of gratitude that he is going to raise my children.  He’ll only be gone for two and a half days—the day camp counselor for children with cancer—but I miss him already.  What husband would prioritize a final farewell foot rub for his wife before his departure, even though he was running a little late?  Mine, and that humbles me.   As soon as he was gone I turned on the television so there was noise.  I’d rather have “The Flying Nun” on in the background to drown out my thoughts than be stuck in silence, thinking about my John not being with me for the next few days. 
My thoughts, like yours, are obviously turned to fathers today.  I’m so grateful for my father, for my father-in-law, for my grandfathers, for my uncles, for my mission president, and for my John—all incredible men who have taught me and loved me and believed in me.  All incredible fathers.  Here are a few things I have learned from the fathers in my life about what makes a good one:

–Putting God first so that his fathering is in line with The Father’s Fathering

 –Respecting, praising and loving his wife openly, whether or not the children are watching

 –Having radical integrity, and not being willing to compromise that for anything

 –Making learning fun by using healthy competition and love

 –Never raising a finger in anger or threat, ensuring that his children always feel safe and secure being his

 –Teaching hard work by example…. and by making his children pull 1,000 weeds in the garden every Saturday of their childhood….{we had a huge garden…}

 –Honoring education and expecting his children to do their best and go to college

 –Teaching his children by example to love others and treat everyone with compassion, no matter who they are or what they have done to you

 –Being creative and present in his children’s lives

 –Offering gentle but necessary constructive criticism to his children in appropriate times        

 –Being a friend and mentor and counselor to his children and wife

–Making life better by offering support, love, laughter, faith, and courage

It amazes me, too, that everything I love about my father–and other father figures in my life–I see in my husband.  His integrity and faith and love know no bounds, and his youthful light is exactly what I never knew I needed from the father of my children.  With John leading our family, I’m not scared.