Watching Over The Dads
Summer social season is underway, and along with it comes the perfect excuse to sit back and do some good old-fashion people watching. One of my favorite pastimes is to idly observe families in action and appreciate how generations come together to share in food and fellowship.
People watching isn’t about feeling superior to others or judging them; more than anything, it’s about learning more about relationships and uncovering those moments of love shared between people. Fathers, in particular, can be fascinating to watch.
There have been few things in my life as endearing as watching my husband become a dad.
My husband has transitioned from Daddy to Dad, a bittersweet change that came earlier than one could imagine. He has weathered the passing of nightly bedtime stories and tuck-ins and has embraced our sons’ conversions to young men that share his twisted sense of humor and quick wit. The role of dad continues to realign with the passing years.
The same was true of my own relationship with my father. My love for him continued to grow and evolve as he became a grandfather. I watched the man, once so busy during my childhood years, slow down and find so much joy in his grandchildren. He could spend hours holding sleeping babies and calming them when needed, and always, always would stop and get ice cream if anyone asked.
Watching the families stroll by at the Holy Rosary Parish Summer Social, I noted fathers of all shapes and sizes; fathers taking care of their expectant wives in the humid evening air, fathers of pre-teens doling out money for rides and games, and grandfathers carrying grandchildren from booth to booth, slipping them one more dollar in order to win the prize they had their heart set on. Men making the sacrifice to be with their families and knowing this time together is truly precious.
In the book, “Welcoming the New Millennium: Wisdom from Pope John Paul II,” St. Pope John Paul II spoke of the importance of sacrifice. “Family communion can only be preserved and perfected through a great spirit of sacrifice. It requires, in fact, a ready and generous openness of each and all to understanding, to forbearance, to pardon, to reconciliation. There is no family that does not know how selfishness, discord, tension and conflict violently attack and at times mortally wound its own communion; hence, there arise the many and varied forms of division in family life. But, at the same time, every family is called by the God of peace to have the joyous and renewing experience of ‘reconciliation,’ that is, communion reestablished, unity restored.”
Father’s Day presents us with chances to thank the dads, grandpas, uncles, mentors and all men who act unselfishly for the greater good of their families. We pray that God continues to watch over and strengthen the men called to this important role for the sake of their children.
God bless all the fathers of the world.