A Father's Day Tribute
Last Friday, I watched my husband Shawn teach our 7-year old daughter, Violet, how to ride her bike without training wheels. Shawn travels throughout the week for work and, come Friday, is fairly tired. So when Violet asked him at 4pm if he would take the training wheels off her bike and teach her to ride it, I could sense his hesitation. He really wanted to sit on the front steps with me and a beer and just enjoy watching our kids play. But he knew how much this meant to Violet, so he patiently worked with her for over an hour until she had mastered riding on two wheels. And I know the joy and thrill of accomplishment that was evident on her little face was worth the missed relaxation time. Shawn and I were married young. One of our private jokes and fondest memories is that we were too young to rent a car on our honeymoon in San Diego so we had to take the bus or walk to our destinations. Almost 17 years and 7 kids later, we would be driving a 12-passenger van around San Diego if we visited now! I had no idea what God had in store for us when I said yes to spending the rest of my life with Shawn. I had no idea what kind of husband and father he would be. I had only ideas of what I hoped he would be like. And Shawn has surpassed anything I could have imagined.
Teaching our middle child to ride her bike is just one example of the countless ways that Shawn puts our family first. As a father, he has had to do many things he never dreamed of doing, especially since one of our children has chronic, complex medical conditions. With seven children, he is more than a hands-on dad. From the time they were babies and his primary jobs were bath time and driving the screaming baby around the 293/93 loop at night to now, as we are starting to raise teenagers, Shawn has always been his children’s #1 cheerleader, basketball coach, soccer coach, theater director, toilet unclogger, spider killer, grill master, and storyteller. He would do anything for his children. His biggest job, and the one we are most blessed by, is his role as the head of our household and our faith. He is an influential role model to our children of what it means to be a Man of God.