One of the best rewards of being a dad is that I get to be a hero in my girls’ lives. For certain, heroship is seasonal. When my girls were young, I could fix anything or create anything. I could even create castles out of cardboard boxes. I could one moment be a big monster and the next be slaying a big monster. All I had to do was show up.
However, my heroship decreased as they grew up. Not that it went away, it was just more sporadic. I could not fix everything and they realized that the castle did fall down. I took on more of a supportive role, cheering them on from the sidelines or bleachers.
But every once in a while, I get to still be a hero, and over the last two months I got to be super-dad again.
My second daughter had tornado warnings at her home in Virginia Beach. Who did she call? Her dad. I was all over this, “Baby, I got you. I’ll be with you on the phone. Get to a secure place and it will be ok.” For a moment, I was her hero again. She is married and has another hero in her life, but for that hour, it was me again.
My youngest daughter called on a Wednesday morning while I was at my small group meeting. “Dad, something’s wrong with my car.” “Don’t worry Babe, I got you. I’ll be there to get you. I’m right around the corner.” When I showed up, I noticed the problem. I took her to school, came back to get her car, fixed it, and it was ready for her when she got home – and I was a hero again.
That same night, as we were retiring for the evening, I hear a scream coming from my oldest daughter’s room, DAD! COME HERE!” I arrived to see that she needed me to kill a spider in her bedroom. Hero dad, once again.
And finally, the next morning I receive a phone call from my daughter who is away at school. She was going to take some particularly challenging tests that day. When I answer the phone I hear, “Dad, can you tell me I’m smart?” “Babe,” I said, “Of course you are smart. You got this. I believe in you. Let me pray for you right now.” We prayed, and I, for the forth time in a few weeks found out that I was still a hero in their lives.
It is not really the hero status I need, I just enjoy knowing that I’m still wanted and appreciated in their lives. These moments are simple reminders and are very special.
Over the last 27 years of fathering, I have learned to appreciate the things that really matter. I shared a few of them on Father’s Day. Regardless of whether you are a father or not, I think these things can apply to all of our lives. Stay tuned.