This is my first Father’s Day… as a father. I slept late, and at this very moment, Christie is making bacon and pancakes. My wife is an incredible cook. The only thing she’s ever made that wasn’t delicious was asparagus (I literally ran to the trash can and spit it out) — but that was not her fault (it is absolutely impossible for a mere human being to make asparagus taste good — it requires an act of you-know-who). However, despite the fact that Christie has great skills in the kitchen, she entered into the holy bonds of matrimony not knowing how to fry a single thing. I assume it has something to do either with hailing from Virginia or from a family who practiced healthy eating.
Growing up in south Alabama, my family did NOT eat what one would call particularly healthy foods. Actually there are probably a (very) few people who might call our diet outright unhealthy. You may not know that we have five major food groups in the deep south:
- coke (a food group which includes any and all nonalcoholic carbonated beverages)
- fried stuff (anything from meats to vegetables to snicker bars to the little crispy things leftover after frying any of the aforementioned items)
So, Christie — yeah, Christie had no idea how to fry foods. She could make a mean lasagna from scratch, and her Greek food was amazing (baklava my favorite). But she couldn’t cook bacon or fry okra to save a life (or perhaps to kill one) — not when we got married. But she learned… for me. Yep, my wife now not only allows me to eat a pound of bacon at a time, but she cooks it for me. So today, for Father’s day breakfast, I’m eating three pancakes and a pound of bacon. Lunch is pepperoni and bacon pizza. And for supper, I’ll unbutton the top of my pants and just swell up, toothpick in hand. Ah, for a Happy Father’s Day.
A few quotes for your Father’s Day. To be enjoyed with bacon or fried MoonPies:
- If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right. -- Bill Cosby
- A father is a banker provided by nature. -- French Proverb
- What a dreadful thing it must be to have a dull father. -- Mary Mapes Dodge
- When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. -- Mark Twain
- A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be. — Unknown
- The father is always a Republican toward his son, and his mother’s always a Democrat. — Robert Frost
- The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, “Daddy, I need to ask you something,” he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan. — Garrison Keillor
- Small boy’s definition of Father’s Day: It’s just like Mother’s Day only you don’t spend so much. -- Unknown
- By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong. -- Charles Wadsworth
- To her the name of father was another name for love. — Fanny Fern
I want to be a picture.
Baylor’s over six months old now. There are so many things I want for her. I want her to grow up to live life to the fullest — the life God intended for her. I want her to be honest and hard-working, and compassionate and loving. I want Baylor to be witty and sarcastic, have my sister’s hair, and go to Auburn on a volleyball scholarship. But this post isn’t about Baylor. Today is MY day.*
“What do I want for ME?” That’s the question. And I’ve already given you my answer. I want to be a picture. A picture of God in the life of my daughter. I want Baylor to daily see in me the characteristics of our heavenly Father. I want my life to be a painting of unconditional love and forgiveness, of patience and grace. I want Baylor’s understanding of God to be grounded in my love for her, which is grounded in the Father’s love for me. I want my words and actions to be a beautiful display of God’s heart in the life of my daughter. On this and every Father’s Day, I want nothing more than to be a picture — well, I want that and some bacon… gravy on the side, please.
Happy Father’s Day, dads.
* For more about what I want for my daughter and what I hope she becomes, read what a father really wants, which was written two weeks before Baylor’s (late) arrival.