20 Jun Our Fathers’ Legacies of Love and Acceptance
The Many Sizes and Configurations of Nuclear Families
Nuclear families come in so many different configurations these days. Traditional parenting roles take on a variety of forms.
Bless the single parent who by choice or circumstance juggles dual roles!
And then there are the same sex couples who attempt to blend the roles of mother and father to ensure a nurturing environment for their kids.
Numerous grandparents and foster parents stand in for families where one or both biological parents cannot do so. And, of course, there are still a little under fifty percent of homes where children are being raised by heterosexual parents who are both in their first marriage.
We Remember That Special Person Who Assumed the Role of Father
Whatever our family experience, when Fathers’ Day rolls around we tend to remember that special person, called by whatever name, who assumed the role of father in our lives.
A memory of a conversation with my own father comes fom early in my childhood. I was only about five years old. However, it’s one of those memories that was foundational to my self-concept and to my sense of self-worth.
There’s No Place I’d Rather Be
My father had come home to lunch from his office at the church. It was within walking distance of our house. After he finished his sandwich, he went into the back yard, still in his coat and tie, to push me on my swing.
I loved how high I could go with him pushing. I was disappointed when he said, “About five more minutes and I’m gonna have to stop. I have to get back to the church for a meeting.”
I don’t know why, but I responded, “I bet you’ll be glad when that five minutes is up and you can stop pushing me and go do more important things.”
Without hesitation my father replied, “There’s not anything else in this world I would rather be doing right now than pushing you in this swing. In fact, If I had a choice, I’d stay out here all day and do this.”
Wow, I thought. I must really be important.
Legacies of Love are Greater than Material Inheritance
I’m sure you can remember when your father or another parent figure in your life spoke a few simple words or did some simple act to affirm you and the mportance of your existence in this world.
We don’t forget those memories, no matter how far back they go. They are the legacies of love and acceptance upon which self-image is built. They are vastly more valuable than any material inheritance we may receive.
On Fathers’ Day, the memories of our fathers and father figures inspire us to extend the legacy of love and acceptance to all of the children, young or old, whose lives we touch.
It doesn’t really matter what form our nuclear families take. After all, each of us ultimately belongs to one large extended family called the human race, don’t we?
I can’t think of a better way to honor our fathers than to pass on their legacies.