A Many Father’s Day

Sunday is Father’s Day. A day we celebrate Father’s of all kinds. The Soccer Dad’s, the science fair Dad’s, the teaching Dad’s, and the “there for you” Dad’s. Father’s Day isn’t always easy because of divided homes. I see that more now in my job as a counselor than I feel I ever did. Like many holiday’s, Father’s Day can be pretty difficult when brokenness enters the picture. I get that. It’s hard for me to change that perspective once I’ve been exposed to it, even when I haven’t experienced it. I can’t have empathy in that sense, but I have sympathy.

I have many father’s in my life. The two brother’s I never had growing up, Randy (who married my sister Nicole) and Noel (who married my sister Robyn). And of course my father Russ. All three loving father’s, all three caring husbands, all three point to Christ.

I grew up with two sisters my entire life. I’ll say that for a large portion of that, I was exposed to dress up, putting on plays, and generally “not typical boy stuff.” I think I had asked my mother for a brother a few times, but eventually gave up once I knew what I was asking for wouldn’t come to fruition. As I grew up, I was protective of my sisters. Nicole and Randy started hanging out when she was in high school, so I’ve known Randy most of my life. Also, I was pretty stoked to have a brotherly figure in my life. When Robyn started dating Noel, I could not have been more happy. Noel was a kind, fun, full of life man whom I very quickly approved of. All of a sudden I had two, incredible brothers in my life and was loving it.

When the two of them became father’s, I was even more impressed with how they approached being a father to their children and more importantly, how they included God in their journey to reflect Him in everything they did. I was humbled that God had put these two incredible examples of fatherhood in my life.

“What about your own father? Yeesh. You haven’t mentioned him yet…awkward.”

Dad. I know growing up, life with your father was not easy. I know that your relationship with him was strained. I know you loved him in your own way anyway. I know that when Nicole was born you had thoughts about what you would be like as a father. I know you then thought about what it was like for you as a child. I know that you made a decision to break cycles, speak love often, be more present, provide well, care more, and give when you could.

KNOW that growing up I saw that man. I felt your love often. I heard your love frequently. I saw God’s love…through you. I learned how to be a good father well before someday having children of my own. I also saw your commitment to our family. I was shown how to be a better man. I was shown how to treat women, children, and friends. I was taught how to resolve conflict in a relationship, how to love well, and how to keep important things important.

Dad, I love you so much. I feel like we’ve grown a bit apart since I’ve moved away, but I want you to know that I love our talks. I love when you speak into my life and give me advice. I love when you talk me off the ledge when I’m freaking out about something. I love how similar I am to you, that I inherited your infectious laugh, love for movies, and sometimes brutal honesty. I love when I’m told that I look like you and that I am a blessing to you. I love that I reflect the Father by just reflecting you. And I love being your son.

Dad, thank you for being in my life. Thank you for teaching me God’s love. Thank you for being a constant source of encouragement and teaching. I have to say, I’ve never really welled up writing to you before, but for some reason that happened three times, haha.

I write these things publicly because I am proud of you Dad. I am proud of the father you were/are and the grandfather you are. I am proud of who you were to me and are to me. And I am so very proud of your life. I love you, so much, and want people to know how cool you are, haha.

Happy Father’s day Dad. Go enjoy some golf.

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Memories II

Three years ago, I began transcribing memories. The memories had no real order, I would just sit in front of my laptop and type anything that came to my head. I ended up writing over 15 pages worth of memories, and I figured they will be something special to look back on someday.

Last night, I had a memory that was so pure and beautiful, that I felt obliged to share it with you all. I was driving home at night. The radio DJ may have given me some guidance on the subject matter, as I think he was talking about a childhood memory, but I can’t remember the subject matter of the story. Anyway…

Continue reading “Memories II”

First Christmas Back

It’s been some time since I’ve been able to have a white Christmas with my family. For the past three years, Christmas has been 90 degrees, shorts, sand, some sunscreen, your jandals, and a bach to hang with your friends in. Paradise, some of you may be thinking right about now. Well, I found these versions of Christmas to be rather…unfulfilled. Where’s the snow? Where’s the pine tree? Where are the snowmen? Why do ALL Christmas songs feel so hollow when heard on a tropical Island? Continue reading “First Christmas Back”

Life Lessons: Raised on Movies.

 

I grew up in a house with over 900 movies in it. My father loved movies. I grew up being able to recognise movies within seconds of seeing a random scene from them. I also grew up on the classics. Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Rocky, Star Wars, and many, many Disney films. In my years growing up, I learned a few things about life from movies. This is bound to happen with so many movies in the house. I decided to create a list of things that I happened to learn from the movies that I watched. They are mostly 90’s movies.

In a list of no particular order, here are life lessons from 90’s movies:

Jurassic Park: T-Rex can’t see you if you don’t move
The Truman Show: Convinced me that there were moments that I swore people were watching me and everything was about my life.
Sandlot: Shoes make you run faster and jump higher. Also you can survive a 20’ fall off any object as long as you land on your back.
Peter Pan: Having a group of friends and adventures in the wild is good.
Home Alone: If I wanted, I could fend off my home with toys. Also, aftershave really burns the face.
Little Rascals: Club House = Yes. Boxcar Race = Yes (this turned out to be a horrible mistake)
Harriet the Spy: Launched my obsession with being a child spy. Gear, notebooks, the works.
Tom and Huck: Living in the wild would be so sweet. Also, blood packs are cool.
Blank Check: I just wanted 1 MILLION DOLLARS! that’s it. That’s plenty, right?

Continue reading “Life Lessons: Raised on Movies.”

Father’s Day: The Legacy We Hope For

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Father’s day. It’s a ridiculous day every time I celebrate it…because it reminds me of how I should be living each of my days. It’s the age old critique of any holiday, “Why don’t we act this way all year round?” This especially comes up during Christmas. And yet, whenever Father’s day, or Mother’s Day rolls around, I feel the same way. I ask reflect on myself and say, “Why haven’t I been appreciating him/her every day? Why hasn’t that been a priority?”

I think it’s because we forget easily. I think that it becomes too hard, or too difficult, or perhaps it wouldn’t even be true. Let’s not forget those fathers that beat their kids, talk down to their wives, and are all around last on the “Father of the Year” podium. Those children wont be feeling the same amount of admiration that I have for my father. No. They will not.
 
201178_1940668633596_138621237_oI am blessed. Russ Peterson, married my mother, Sharon, and made me, so that I could grow up in a household that didn’t conform to the ‘Father’ my father saw when he was a child. My father made a choice, to be different. To be compassionate, yet firm. Honest, and maybe a little blunt, ha. To be loving, and to make sure he said it. To make sure, he said, “I love you.” I grew up knowing that. I grew up with a deeply Christ-centered man. A man with more layers than is seen, more emotions than are always expressed, and more “Father” than he was shown. He sacrificed for me and my sisters. So much sacrifice.I love my Father, because he points up and says, “That’s my example.” And I want to someday be able to do the same thing.
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Happy Father’s Day today Dad. I love you so much, and it physically pains me to be away from you. I miss you so much. I hope you know that, and I hope you are surrounded today with everyone who loves you.
 
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