July 16 06:45 PM

Saluting parents of all sizes

June 25, 2008
It would seem that God has nudged me awake way early again, perhaps because he knew before I did that I was overcommitted and would never get an extra column out before we leave for our family camp out (in Iowa, weather permitting), if he didn't carve out this little extra spot of time for me.

There were two little things I was wanting to share—totally unrelated to each other as far as I can tell except that they're both Sunday morning stories.

Early Sunday morning is my best time of the whole week. I love getting up early; Mike likes to catch an extra hour of sleep the one morning he doesn't have to go to work. So we leave the alarm to go off at 5:45; Mike goes back to sleep and I savor the solitude.

Last Sunday I wandered out into the yard, stopping to check out my little perennial garden. Beneath a maple-colored coral bell I noticed a filmy little patch of—I wasn't sure what! It kind of looked like a cobweb with dew on it or something. The word gossamer came to mind, though I wasn't sure what that even meant. I reached down to brush it away, and in so doing found out just how fragile it was, and that it moved with barely a stroke, revealing a tiny bunny, huddled and suddenly exposed. "Oh!" I heard myself start to say. "I didn't mean to invade your privacy."

Never mind that before all of that even got out of my mouth, I was thinking, "What a trade-off! The momma who crafted that perfectly disguised safe place for her young has just become the #1 suspect for why another flower in the garden—the one which was so prolific last year—is now a patch of shorn off three-inch stubble!"

This past Sunday (Father's Day), Pastor Gary Klumpenhower, a missionary in the southwestern states who retired here, brought a message about the responsibilities of fathers. At the close of the service, he invited the dads, grandpas, uncles, and anyone in the position of "neighborhood uncle" or other male role model for the next generation, to come forward in a solidarity move—to ask for and receive God's blessing and also to be honored by the rest of us. I was so impressed by the sight of that many men being reminded to take their role seriously that I counted them. Forty-five! Is that exciting and encouraging or what?

It's been a couple of days now since I typed this, and I realize that a couple of quotes over the past week have served to lace those two little pieces together in my mind. Allow me to share them with you.

"He's just an ordinary dad." —Taylor, when asked what it was like having Coach Mike Babcock as her father.

"I know that when my life is over, the most important thing on which I'll be judged is whether I was a good father." —Tim Russert, respected host for many years of Meet the Press, who died this week. (quoted posthumously)

Castle Creek
Napco Pipe
07 - 16 - 19
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