For The Fathers of “My Kids”

Posted by on Jun 18, 2012 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

I spent most of Father’s Day in a post night-shift fog but I had a couple of moments of clarity. One was when I was talking to my Daddy. I do love him. He is such an inspiration, comfort, and joy in my life.

The other was when Bruce’s Aunt Alva was here. I found myself digging out the photo frame full of nieces and nephews which was still carefully wrapped in its blanket from the move. I showed Aunt Alva and then sat with all 12 nieces and nephews on my knee and thought about the Dad’s that made “my kids” possible.

I need to thank them.

My brother-in-law Norman is responsible for five of the kids, four girls and a boy. My brother did his share by giving me five nephews and two nieces. I am grateful beyond words.

It is a little awkward to wax eloquent on the wonderfulness of these two guys because, well, they can be a pain in the neck. What? How dare I say that? Well, it is the truth and the truth is that they glory in being a pain.

Our history is that Clark became a pain merely by being born. He intruded in my life by taking over my throne that was my Mommy’s lap. As he grew it didn’t get much better. He’s five years younger than me and he was a much-loved pest. I alternated between wanting to kill him and trying to make him conform to my idea of how he should act. This continued all of his life until I got married. Hmmm. Now I know why he was so excited for me to get married. HA. His self-proclaimed favorite verse to quote to his sisters is this one, “A brother is born for adversity.” I think that he is misquoting it.

Despite all of this natural big-sister and little-brother dynamic we really do love each other. I know that if anyone ever tried to truly hurt me they would have to contend with him. I know that I am one of his favorite people. I also know that he is an amazing husband and father. He has produced five boys who are so much like different parts of his intellectual-redneck-cowboy personality that it is an amazement and a wonder. And the ladies his daughters are becoming show me they know the security of a Daddy who loves them.

I can enjoy his children knowing they are being trained to respect their authority. They love their family, their siblings, parents, grandparents, and especially their Aunt Miriam. What more can I ask? He is teaching them to be real in their love for others and God. He leads by example in the servant mentality he has towards those who are less fortunate.

Thank you Clark.

My brother-in-law and I have known each other for 32 years. He has been married to my sister for almost 26. Most of those years we have enjoyed getting under each other’s skin. We both like to tease and in fact, often tease a little too much. But, he loves my sister and he knows how to raise kids.

He has four girls and one boy. He rejoiced over every child, each one was a miracle for them. He especially gloated when he found out one was a boy. “I have gotten me a man child from the Lord,” he said. He gives the girls the Daddy-love they need to be confident young ladies. He listens with God-given patience as his chatty child bends his ear. He desires and works hard to provide not only for their needs, but to help them learn how to take care of themselves. He is making a man-child into another Norm and that is an excellent thing.

He too values teaching his children to honor God, their parents, and the authority in their lives. He acknowledges and encourages their dreams. He talks about protective equipment needed when the girls want to date. He takes his life into his hands and tries to teach them to drive.

I am thankful today, not just for the Daddy God gave me, but for the other men he gave me. Especially the ones that have given me the children in my life. Thank you for sharing your children so generously with me. I will love and pray for them for so long as I live.