Step One: Showing Up

(This is the first post by our new contributor JB. Please take a moment to check out her profile in the Contributors page)

A CHAMPION DAD…that sounds daunting, no doubt. Since I heard the name of the blog, I have been considering what this means, where I’ve experienced it. My own dad is a champion in many ways, my husband is in others. But this week I met a champion dad who has come through the fire. Better yet, the defining characteristic of this individual is that he ran into the fire to sit with his daughter. And share in her hurt.

Life isn’t easy, we always want the best for our kids, better than we had. Yet sometimes they have to face hardship and real soul wrenching, gut piercing pain. And we all wonder how we will ever survive. But we do, together.

Have you ever gotten the call? The call that the world is on fire for someone you love? Time slows down and your stomach drops? I’ve gotten a few, thankfully only a few. But this is a part of life. And this amazing man, when he got “The Call” from his adult daughter was driving to work. And he did what any Champion Dad would do, said “I’m coming” and started the long drive to get to her a few states away.

Work and responsibilities fade away when we are faced with the reality of heartfelt need from our children. Now, he couldn’t fix the problem, bring her fiancée back to life. But he did the most important thing any father can do…he showed up. In talking with him later, he revealed his feelings of helplessness, and while he wasn’t doing anything in that moment, he was BEING her dad. Being present and sometimes that’s the only thing that a parent can do. But this was only possible because of a lifetime of showing up in big and little ways – soccer games, hanging out with her friends at their house, conversations driving places, offering advice and laughter in the small moments. I hope and pray that my kids will know that both my husband and I are always there for them, ready to show up.

C.S. Lewis said, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” This is something that is tough to remember when the kids are little and I’m trying to get my work done, but I’m trying. It’s these small moments, the daily interactions and rituals that seem silly and exhausting sometimes. But they build up to a lifetime of trust. What can you do TODAY to make sure you have that critical connection? Wait for the bus, toss around the ball for a few or let your daughter paint your toenails. The little moments of action are all training for the tough stuff. If you are conditioned, you will be able to show up and BE the Champion Dad that you truly are.

JB

Photo by Jordan Whit via Unsplash

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