Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Father's Day

June is the month to celebrate fathers. I had the honor of my story about my Dad being published in the Chicken Soup for the Father & Daughter Soul last month.

When one of my stories appear in a book, I usually sign a few in our local Barnes & Nobel. I tried to think of something appropriate to write in the Father & Daughter Soul and came upon the idea of looking up quotes about fathers. I didn’t find anything I could use in signing the books, but I did find wisdom in what I read.

In honor of fathers everywhere, I'm going to list some of my favorite quotes. And, just for the record, my father, Charles Diehl, and my husband, Neal, are the best fathers that ever walked the earth.

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love the most is soap-on-a-rope. - Bill Cosby

These fathers are sensitive to the feelings of others. Their little guys think soap-on-a-rope is the coolest thing they ever saw and they want their daddy to have one. Or it could be a rock they found with fossils.

Neal is one of the VP’s in the worlds largest food company and he still has the fossil rocks given to him by our children on his desk.

Fathers like Neal are not as concerned with the gift as they are with the giver. They want to teach their children how to love, honor, respect, and be caring adults.

That’s the way God, our Heavenly Father is. He receives our little tokens of time, our little prayers, but he is far more concerned with us. He wants us to realize that time spent with Him will teach us to love, honor, respect and be caring human beings.

Becoming a father isn't difficult, but it's very difficult to be a father. - Wilhelm Busch, Julchen
A good father isn’t Santa Claus.
Giving a child gifts and money instead of time is a cop-out. When our children were young and had their little palms out, Neal would say, “I’ll give you money, but you have to earn it,” and would send them on a small errand. Ask our kids today what their favorite dad quote is and they will all say in unison, “get a job.”
But it is hard to not give in. Just ask old softie here. Thank goodness Neal was strong enough to take the hard position of saying, “No.”

God isn’t Santa Claus either. And yet it is so easy to pray gimme prayers. It is a wise person who realizes the love in the answer, “no,” or “not yet.”

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." -- Sigmund Freud

Have you ever seen someone trying to save a kitten caught in a tree?
After climbing to dizzying heights to help it, the kitten spits, hisses, and bares its claws at its rescuer. That is the way it goes for most dads. They go out on a limb to help their kids, at the risk of being totally misunderstood and accused of being unfair, or controlling. They may even hear those age old three words, I hate you.

Still, a good father looks past that and once again takes the hard road of protector even at the risk of being misunderstood, and unpopular. Our children need that because they will climb the same tree over and over. And a wise father may decide to let them sit there a while before rescuing. It’s a good place for them to think over their bad decisions.

God is our protector. And He is often misunderstood by us. When things don’t go our way, how many times have we blamed Him? Oh, we may not do it directly, but we may say, “where is God?” “Why did God _______” fill in the blank.

He will climb the tree for us, but sometimes he let’s us sit there a while and think over our bad decisions.

It's only when you grow up, and step back from him, or leave him for your own career and your own home—it's only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. Pride reinforces love."- Margaret Truman

It is sad for those who do not appreciate loved ones while we have them.
It's so easy to find fault, and yet, when a loved one dies, we suddenly act like they did no wrong. Oh that we would take the time to appreciate the good in others and tell them how special they are while they are alive.

I’m so thankful that there is no place I can go where God cannot reach me.

And now from my soapbox

It frustrates me that men have been portrayed as fools by the entertainment industry. Fathers are always the idiots. Even in our commercials. And what’s really sad is that men are buying into it.
Our sons feel guilty because they are boys. They are covertly and sometimes overtly taught that being a boy is bad and that they “owe” girls.

I remember when my unusually handsome sons (they really are!) had to sit in rallys and listen to the speaker telling girls how bad boys were and that they were after one thing-sex. Girls were told to protect themselves from these preditors. My guys would come home disgusted because it was the girls who stalked them, and they were only after one thing. Can you guess what it was?

Today, there are countless special interest groups who proclaim competition is bad, success is bad, those who work hard owe their reward to those with their palms out who do nothing.

And it seems the white male is to blame for everything.

I don’t see why it's necessary in the struggle for equality that we go from one ditch to another. Life is better for everyone: minority, female, male, religious, non-religious, on the road. The philosophy that one group has to be relegated to a ditch so others can succeed is dangerous and harmful to all.

If you need proof, just look at the declining moral fabric of America.

And now for the best and last quote:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.

If we would just obey our Heavenly Father, this world would be a perfect place.