The Importance of Dads

Last night, Nick and I gave Damon his “big” Christmas gift… a few days early, yes. Because he already pretty much knew that his big gift was a new 12-gauge shotgun that he’d been asking for. And he asked Nick if they could go duck hunting this morning… and Nick was like “wellll, it would be nice if he had his new gun to take hunting…” So we decided that it probably wouldn’t totally ruin Damon’s Christmas if he got his “big” gift early.

So, anyway, we gave him this gun. And I’m sitting on my bed watching this scene unfold… Damon and Nick are standing at the foot of my bed, taking this gun out of its box and putting it together, and Damon’s getting it all figured out. The safety… and various other things that I don’t even know enough about to describe to you. But this kid of mine? Oh, he knows. He’s handling this weapon, that is like a foreign object to me, and I realize, “he actually knows what he’s doing with that thing!”

And then it hits me, right in the center of my heart (not necessarily in a bad way), that I had nothing to do with THAT. That half of the person Damon is, it didn’t come from me. I certainly didn’t teach him about guns and gun safety and hunting and where to shoot various animals and what to do with them afterward. I also didn’t teach him how to shoot a bow… or how to drive and work on a four-wheeler… or how to hit a baseball. So much of the person that Damon is came from his dad, clearly. And the same can be said for Avery.

I really can’t even begin to imagine what these children would be like, who they would be, without Nick’s influence, without him being here, present in their lives, every single day. I’m incredibly grateful that my children have a hands-on dad who loves them and guides them and has such a huge impact on the people they are becoming. Looking at Nick and Damon, fiddling with his gun, last night, I was so overcome with pride… not just for Damon but for his dad, my husband. I doubt if he gives himself enough credit for the role he plays in our kids’ lives and realizes just how much he means to them, and how much that means to ME.

So this is my shout-out… to Nick and to all the dads out there who are present in their kids’ lives and making a difference, every day.

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