As a new father it’s cause me to think back to the things that my dad did for me that really meant something to me.
One of the most meaningful things for me as simply this. He showed up.
I am the middle of 4 kids. I have an older, twin and younger sister. Basically I was surrounded by girls. Even our pets were mostly female till we got my dog when I was in high school. We were all heavily involved in in extra curricular activities like soccer, tennis, cheerleading, 4-H, band, choir etc, etc. Point is we were busy.
During elementary school my father was also going through his doctoral program. He started when my little sister was born and finished the year she turned 7. We knew he was busy. He was a full-time professor at the college in town and had papers to grade and work to do, but he always showed up.
My father didn’t play soccer when he was younger and we will bug him about not being able to play anything but the radio, but regardless, he showed up. I cannot remember a soccer game or a concert that my dad missed. It didn’t matter if he had the world riding on his shoulders, there was nothing that was going to keep him from being involved in his kids lives, and it left a huge impression on me.
As a young father now i feel the pressures of work and constantly fighting the urge to use the excuse that “I’m too busy.” The real lesson is that we make time for what we believe is important.
My father resolved to be faithful, not just to my mother but to his kids as well. He didn’t just put food on the table, he showed up in our lives. He didn't always understand what he was watching, but that wasn’t the point. The point was he was making an effort to prove to his kids that we meant something to him. He was committed to watching us and helping us succeed.
I’m a songwriter and have been writing since I was a kid. My first gig was in college at a local coffee shop in town. My father was there. A few weeks ago, I had a gig at an outdoor festival. My parents, who live about 50 min away, drove over for my 50 min set just to hear me play.
Faithfulness is remaining loyal. It’s showing up even when it’s understood that it would be inconvenient. As a father now, I want to instill in my daughter and my future children that I’m in this for the long haul. I am never to busy for them. I believe that as a man I am called first to be faithful to God, then my wife, then children, then whatever vocation I have. If that order is ever to be switched there will be issues.
Our kids need to feel the support of fathers who show up. And when I say show up I mean be more than just physically being there. We need to be invested, involved and interested. They are the greatest legacy we can ever leave to this world.
As a dad, Show Up.