Well, tomorrow is Father’s Day, and it’s the first one I’ll get to celebrate as an actual father! Last year at this time my wife and I were still on the waiting list for a foster child placement, and while I was really hoping to be a father in time for Father’s Day, it just didn’t happen. Everyone kept telling me to enjoy those carefree days, but our house had never felt so quiet or empty, and all I wanted was – well – to be a dad.
Then, about a month later, our two beautiful children found their way to our doorstep. It’s been a wild journey, and we’ve laughed, cried, and prayed our way through this last year. What have I learned from it all? First, those people were right. I should have taken that well-meaning advice and enjoyed the quiet days a little more, because here at Father’s Day Number One I find myself wanting one thing and one thing only: a really good pair of earplugs!
But the more important lesson is to soak in every moment with these kids. Every time I turn around they’re a little bit older, a little bit smarter, and a lot more independent. They won’t be little forever, and I need to enjoy the time I have with them to the fullest.
Being a dad has been incredible – more difficult and more sweet than I imagined it would be. And it has helped me to appreciate my own dad a whole lot more. He had an incredibly hard job being our father, and we never fully appreciated him for it. But he hung in there, and now he has become my inspiration.
When I was a young teenager, he had me read a Christian book and write a book review. There were elements of the book that I didn’t particularly like, but because he had assigned it to me I was hesitant to say anything negative about it. He saw through my writing immediately, though, and as he graded my paper, here is what he wrote:
“John Mark – you’re a good writer, never be afraid to speak your mind! If you feel there are portions of this book that are a bit trite, just say so! Who’s to say that the opinion of John Mark Miller isn’t every bit as valid as any other Joe Schmoe out there?”
So as a writer on this Father’s Day, I want to say, “Thanks Dad, for inspiring me to write with conviction and to hold my head up high! Over 20 years later, and I’m still at it!”