The Father’s Day newspaper is always amusing in a sad sort of way. On Mother’s Day the pages are filled with glowing tributes, sweet anecdotes, but on Daddy’s Day stories decry father figures gone bad, mourn our increasingly fatherless society and even the positive ones give lots of information on how to be a better dad.
Can you imagine “how to be a better mother” articles on Mother’s Day? We’d all dissolve into tears at the slightest suggestion. Mothers already have guilt mastered, yet Father’s Day seems to be about “take your job seriously, dads!”
And more than anything, I am grateful for a husband who takes fathering seriously. Some men take great pride in their career or their hobby; Erik takes pride in his family. Whether he’s handing out bathroom cleaning assignments on Saturday morning, playing ball in the family room, standing watch over the littles as they do math worksheets or discussing his favorite TED talk, he constantly looks for ways to teach and develop skills.
A gifted athlete himself, Erik doesn’t care if his kids win the game or score the goal.
You’ll never see Erik yelling at the sidelines– only cheering at successes (and sometimes for the other team).
With Ben gone, I’ve learned how much Erik truly adores his children. I’ll catch him in a melancholy mood and he’ll explain, “I just miss Ben.” He doesn’t hesitate to call Hans home from an activity gone late and he gets truly annoyed when Stefan works too many hours. While my letters to Ben are chatty and silly, each of Erik’s are small masterpieces full of information and insights.
Nothing defines Erik more than his love of learning. He wants to know EVERYTHING– languages, scripture, science, economics, random facts. While the rest of us bury our noses in novels, he reads piles of non-fiction and the Jewish World Review (come to think of it, he usually keeps up on all our favorite series too– Hunger Games, The Demon King, Harry Potter (of course), even Twilight back in the day).
One of Erik’s best traits is his constant desire to improve. He’s never satisfied with his own status quo and constantly searches for ways to become a better husband and father. I hope it doesn’t sound insulting to say fathering our large brood didn’t come naturally to him (he only has one sibling). I’m always more impressed by hard work than innate ability. He’s worked hard to become the incredible father he is today.
Already this is too long (and Xander wants me to talk about Erik’s valentine making skills and his ability to converse with anyone) but I need one more sentence: I believe a father’s actions for good or bad are magnified– a truly good man can bless generations. God himself claims the role of Father above all others; we are His work and His glory. I’m grateful Erik has made our family his life’s work.