About lighthouses and dads


This photo was taken on September 12, 2007 using a Nikon D40X by Rona Proudfoot.

My wife called me a name today. And this time, I didn’t mind.

We were sitting at the table when she brought up how our two boys watch me.

That’s nothing new to me, for that’s one of the first things they teach you in Dad School 101.

You’re a role model. Your kids notice when you throw your integrity in the corner next to the basketball shorts, even with negative decisions that seem small at the time.

They know when you’re racing through the bedtime routine to get back to the computer. They know when you’ve paid one too many visits to 7-Eleven. Or when you happen to be drifting along with no compass in life.

It’s the dad under a microscope exhibit at the science fair.  Trust me, I’ve felt the pressure.

Despite the warts they surely notice, it’s also comforting to know my boys have observed other more positive actions by their dad.

Kneeling in prayer by my bed at night.

Struggling out of bed on Sunday on a weekly basis to go to church despite extremely limited sleep the night before.

Bringing mom home a dessert, just because.

Doing the dishes and the laundry, and not just in hopes of getting lucky.

Not cheat his employer, even in the smallest way.

Provide a safe environment for their friends who may be hitting a rough patch.

Not afraid to show emotion.

Willing to laugh at himself.

So back to my wife at the table. I listened as she spoke, expecting a detailed laundry list of all my sins.

She did nothing of the sort.

“They tell me everything,” she said looking at me. “Both good and bad that you do.”

“You’re a lighthouse,” she told me. She didn’t have to explain further.

I knew exactly what she meant. I just never heard it said so beautifully.