A shout out to all of the fathers tonight. I can’t write about all of them, but I can’t let the day pass without sharing one of many stories about my father that happened when I was about 14. I copied and pasted it straight from Musings.

“Somewhat rebellious, I was perturbed that my parents wouldn’t let me go to a fellow middle schooler’s party, an unchaperoned event, so my friends and I decided to take matters into our own hands. The plan was to spend the night with this one particular pal, Becky, and go to the party from there. No one would be the wiser—or so we thought. As the evening progressed, my mother thought of something she needed to ask me and innocently called the home of my friend. Becky’s mother, not knowing of our devious scheme, told my mother that we had gone to a party. Shocked and disappointed in my behavior, my mother called the party giver’s home to tell me that my father was en route to pick me up. Mortified, I tried to “make a deal,” but talking was pointless. Within ten minutes, my father had arrived in the trusty family station wagon to collect me AND my friends.  I’ll never forget the long ride back to town with me in the front seat and my friends in the back. They implored him to let me go on home with them, but he calmly ignored their requests. He was smoking, and in my opinion (biased of course), he looked like a cool James Dean. Once at home, he and I sat down at the kitchen table and had one of many parent/child talks about obedience and trust.  And love.  Yes, love. Enough love to take the time to drive out on a cold Friday night to pick up a disobedient daughter, bring her safely home, AND then take the time to discuss the matter.”

Before his death nearly ten years ago, one of the things my father told me is that he and my mother felt fairly confident about how to discipline and teach the four of us when we were small children. When we became teenagers, however, he confessed that they were often completely flummoxed.  They tried all sorts of strategies depending on the child and the situation, but behind everything there were feelings of love and concern. We all four felt it, and we never wanted to disappoint them…at least not in the long run when we awoke from our rebellious years.

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