By Rick Hamlin
5 Things You Learn as a Dad
Fatherhood is a heavenly calling. Like any calling, you discover that you can do things you never thought you could—or wanted to, for that matter. Here are a few things I have learned as a dad:
1. I have a much louder voice than I thought.
I never yell, hardly ever raised my voice, but when Tim and Will were little and they started tussling in the living room, wrestling right beneath the table with Carol’s great-grandmother’s fine china, I found out how very loud I could be. Thank God for forgiving neighbors. And forgiving sons.
2. My knowledge of music has expanded considerably.
“Dad, here, listen to this,” Tim will say, putting ear buds into my ears. “Who is this again?” I ask over the din in my ears. “What group am I listening to? What is this song called?” I sway like I did on the dance floor in high school, hoping that I might possibly look cool, even for a stiff 50-something dad.
3. God throws surprises into the gene pool.
People are quick to say, “Your son Will sounds exactly like you” or “If I’d seen Timothy a thousand miles away I still would have known he was your son.” But where did William get his gift for numbers? His parents have just enough math to balance a checkbook. And how did Timothy learn how to dance? Like I say, I’ve got two left feet.
4. The more love you give, the more love you have.
I remember thinking, pre-kids, “How am I ever going to have time to be a dad?” Sure, it was exhausting in those early years. Ages 0-5 pass in a blur. But when you become a parent, you take a shine to all the other kids in the playground (OK, a few will drive you nuts) and you have compassion for every other parent in the universe. They’re working as hard as you are.
5. Be ready to drop everything.
The phone rings in the middle of the day and it’s William calling from the West Coast. Hold that meeting. Forget for a moment that all-important email. Timothy texts with a mundane question. He must be answered post-haste. When someone says, “Why would God want to hear what I have to say?” I think, “Well, if he’s like a father, he wants to hear it right away!”
Hey dads, Happy Dad’s Day. We’re on a mission from God.