Fathers From the Outside
As I've grown older, words like "marriage", "husband", and "father", have changed. Like some old friends who I haven't seen in many years, when I see them now, I do a double-take. For they are nothing like I remember.
"Marriage, you used to be a featherweight! Have you been working out?"
I remember when we used to play fight on the playground as the ladies watched. Sometimes we'd face-off and I'd run away because my aunts took your side, and at other times we'd gang up to take down an alluring opponent. Only God knows how many women we faced together between the ages of 5 and 10. We had many challengers, and made many wives.
But there is no doubt in my mind today, that you can knock me out. Without the help of the right woman, I am sure to lose our bouts, and even if we band together, I can only see myself holding you back. Oh Marriage, you're too intimidating.
Now Husband! When did you become such a trouble-maker?
I remember playing house with you and the girls. You were so easy-going. All you cared about was work, and dinner. I didn't even know what kind of work you did, and you didn't even care what dinner was, 'cause it was always delicious no matter what concoction came to the table.
But now hanging out with you gets on my nerves. If you're not picking fights with me telling me how I need to get my shit together, then you're picking fights with our girlfriends, telling them how they need to get their shit together. What is it with you!? Isn't anyone good enough? Remember, you're no prize catch yourself...
Finally Father... we used to be best friends didn't we? You reminded me so much of my Dad, especially your good looks; and I didn't even mind babies that much when I was with you.
Whether our "wives" wanted 2, or 20, or even "uncountable" as one ambitious girl said, didn't matter. We were up to the task. But look at you now! You're overweight and obese and I can't stand the sight of you. You've stuffed your belly so full of duties, responsibilities, and obligations, that it is a wonder how you manage to sleep at night.
With all that weight, I don't even see how you can handle 1 baby, talk less of 10. Your hair is greying from all the stress, and you do nothing but worry when we're together. How am I going to feed my kids and send them to college? What if there's something wrong with them mentally? or physically? or psychologically? What if I die? What if I'm crippled? WHAT WILL I DO!?
Man, I'm so sick and tired of you. Relax! Chill out! What if, what if, what if, that's all you ever talk about. You're giving me grey hairs over here.
Just look at this sad state of affairs. Life has happened to my old friends. Age has set in, and I no longer want to hang out with them. There is so much drama over in their worlds that really being friends is a lot more trouble than it's worth.
Which is why, all of us need to take this one day to appreciate all those men who are still friends with any of them - and especially appreciate those who are friends with all three. It takes a tough man to commit to a lifetime relationship, a tolerant one to handle all its troubles, and an intelligent one to plan adequately for its future. So take some time today to appreciate all the Fathers out there if you haven't already.
I love you Dad. You're one tolerant, tough, and intelligent son of a gun! - and I wish you continued success and succour in all that you do. May the wisdom of God guide your feet, and the grace of God guard your path, in Jesus's name. Amen 😀