My Grandpa C. always had a big smile and hug for his grandkids. I remember special weekends in Tecumseh, Nebraska, with him (and my Grandma). He and Grandma also took me on a roadtrip to New Mexico one Thanksgiving so that I could spend time with a cousin I rarely got to see. It was such a special time. And for anyone who thinks I’m extroverted and love people, I’m a shadow of him. We got blizzarded into Fort Dodge, Kansas, on the way back from New Mexico, and he found people he knew or was connected to within six degrees in the hotel.
My Grandpa K. was special in other ways. When I was home a couple weeks ago, my Grandma pulled back a few more layers on just how special and involved he was in his kids’ lives. You can read Canteen Dreams to catch a glimpse of how much I loved him, and read the epilogue of Captive Dreams to see how he loved my grandma.
My Daddy was and is a man after God’s heart. I spent time on the phone with him this week talking about the ways he impacted my life. Maybe someday he’ll fully embrace that he was a wonderful dad. And he still is.
My husband is an amazing father. He actively loves our kids. He engages with them on a daily basis. He cares about them and what matters to them. He cares enough to discipline when necessary. And he cares enough to drop everything else when I need him to come be the Daddy. I can say with confidence that my kids will not have issues seeing God as their Abba Daddy because they have a living, breathing example of that here on earth.
Then there’s my father-in-law David. My brothers Josh and Joel. My brother-in-law Matt. Each of these men is fully invested in their kids. Whether it’s Josh being ridiculous with my kids — he is THAT uncle. Or Joel speaking life to my kids consistently (brings me to tears every time he grabs my girls, looks them in the eyes, and tells them they are BEAUTIFUL). Or Matt commiserating that his oldest is headed off to school next year (Unbelievable!), then smiles as our three-year-olds run by.
These men understand/understood what it takes to live life with their children. And one day, their children will rise up and bless them for it. Until then, I’ll stand at the head of the line and say, “well done.”