Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Very Merry UnFather's Day...

Remember in Alice in Wonderland...the Unbirthday? With the Mad Hatter? And the "tired" mouse? And the hyper rabbit? Huh. Some days our house is remarkably like that tea party...but we're getting off point. And we actually have a point today.
Today is not Father's Day (obviously). But sometimes we like to sing the praises of Daddy just because. Just because dad's get an ugly image in the news and on TV -- we get a parenting magazine; dad's are just barely existent even in that publication. Just because he's the busiest guy we know. Just because he's the most fun, most compassionate, most patient Dad ever (or at least in this house.) Just because he doesn't mind "wasting time" with his little girls playing restaurant or building towers or reading stories or playing Candyland or etc. etc. etc. Just because he'll eat 3/4 of his meals out of a crockpot and never complains. Just because he knows when a little girl is crying and moving slower than we'd like, sometimes it really means she needs a hug and he gives her one instead of snapping at her to move it. Just because he'll hold a frantic baby for hours, if that's what it takes to keep Mommy from losing her mind. We Speer Females are all his number one fans. We're still coming up with up with a cool name. Like the Beliebers. Only cooler (which shouldn't be tooooo hard).

Back to Daddy...last week he took Vivian out on her birthday date. When the girls turn three, they get to start going out on dates with their Daddy each year for their birthdays. Vivian was so very, very excited that her day had finally come. Miriam is literally counting down the days until her birthday and subsequent Daddy Date. She's picked out Pizza Hut and is pondering what she will wear. It's a big deal. This tradition was suggested to us by a priest friend who sees a lot of pain that can be attributed to, what he calls, father wounds. It's a dad's job to show his children, particularly their daughters, that they are worthwhile and worthy of love, that they are lovely, that they are a daughter of a King and all the dignity that entails. Tall order for a dad of three little ladies. Pray that he continues to be up to the task.

We've heard that earthly fathers are supposed to mirror the love of the heavenly Father. And that's what Daddy does in our house. He's just. If there's a rule and you broke it, there's a discipline for that. Actions have consequences. As parents, it's our job to (hopefully lovingly) teach that lesson. Over and over and over until it feels like all the moments of the day congeal into one blob of continually, slowly cultivating self-control and all those other hard-won virtues. Our own parental voices begin to sound like the "Wanana. Waaaa. Waaa. Waa-wanna." of Charlie Brown's teacher. As a good Daddy, he doesn't let all those moments discourage him or make him short-sighted.

But equally important, he's merciful. Ain't nobody gettin ta heaven without the mercy. And, whatever his faults, Tim lives that. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." No one we know says "I'm sorry" faster or offers forgiveness as quickly as Tim. "Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus said. "For they shall be called children of God." Tim is a peacemaker; he's a son of God. And we, maybe proud Mommy most of all, are grateful for his example of mercy. Perhaps someday soon it'll rub off on the rest of us.

So that's our essay, our ode, our hymn of thanksgiving during the month of Thanksgiving to Daddy and all the daddies like him who give parenting, and life really, their every last ounce of energy. We love you.

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