Sunday, June 16, 2013
Happy Father's Day To Our Quiet Hero
We love heroes. We love people who get shot at, and run into burning buildings, and shield children from mad men with guns, and jump into raging waters to pull someone to safety. As we should. Most young men harbor fantasies of someday participating in this sort of adrenaline fueled pursuit with all of the fanfare and news articles and awards that will follow.
We have a hero in our house. He has never been called to do some big splashy dangerous act that would be obviously heroic. He doesn't get attention for the things he does. But he is a hero to us, everyday, whether anyone sees or not.
Michael is our hero because he puts us first. Always. He has accomplished so much in his professional life, but you would never know just how much he's accomplished by talking to him or looking at our life. He worked for 6 long years to earn his Ph.D. in a demanding field--10 if you count the undergrad he had to finish first. Do you know he never makes anyone call him Doctor? He never introduces himself that way. He's just Mike. Holy moley, if I worked all that time to earn that title I don't think I could be so quiet and humble about it. Not only that, but he is so good at what he does. He is so successful and earns a lot for it. You wouldn't really know by looking at our lifestyle because security is more important to him than having toys or appearing successful. He drives a rusty 11 year old Chevy Malibu even though he doesn't have to. He doesn't have a boat, or an RV, or go on golf outings, or fancy vacations, even though even with six kids he could. In his position most people would. He does it because he cares more about knowing we would be ok even if he lost his job. He does it because he cares more about being prepared for things like cancer or an accident or whatever. He lives a life that looks far less successful than what he has earned because it's more important to him to know we are cared for no matter what. He's willing to look like he has less just so that we can ultimately have more.
He is a hero because he sets an example of what it means to be an honorable man. He shows our son everyday what it means to be an honorable man, a good husband, and a good father. He shows our son that the strong protect the weak in ways big and small. He shows our son that success is not about what people see on the outside, but the choices you make that nobody sees. Our girls will know what to expect from the men in their lives, because he sets the bar so high for himself. Our kids will know that the measure of a man is humility, patience, hard work, and faithfulness. They will know that a good man is not embarrassed to show he loves his wife and kids. They will know that a good man doesn't sacrifice for his family and then lord it over them. They will know that a good man gives everything he has to his family out of love and gives it freely. They will know that a good man accepts that a truly loving father will sometimes have to accept their rejection because his duty is teaching them right from wrong.
Michael has heard that he was becoming a father more times than most men ever do. As the sole breadwinner, that can be scary news. When you're already exhausted and knee deep in chaos it can seem like you'll never sleep or pee by yourself again. But from the moment he hears that they are coming, even if in that moment he's less than rainbows and unicorns thrilled, he chooses to love that child. He loves them and would do anything for them. Rather than measure the sacrifice that they mean, he loves them and is devoted to them immediately and without reservation.
He is our Daddy. He is our Hero. We will never be able to repay him for all he does, and he doesn't care.
Happy Father's Day Michael! We love you!