Sunday, June 20, 2010

In Honor of My Husband on Fathers' Day

He's a quiet man, my husband. A man who walks with quiet strength, a man who speaks words that count. He is a genius. An artist. A thinker.

Last Saturday he took our new teenager to see Iron Man II to celebrate J's 13th birthday. A busy man, a man who works hard--sometimes seven days per week--took the time to drive into the city to spend time with his middle son. And it was J's request to spend this time with his dad--a sweet thing to want as one's birthday celebration.

Sometimes he takes the boys to work with him, teaching them how to mix and pour concrete, how to lay bricks, how to work hard despite hot sun beating down. Yesterday when the upstairs shower needed plumbing work, he took J under his wing, taught him how to do the work, taught him how to solder. A teacher of precision, of exactness, of service.

Each evening after a long day of work, he pulls out ingredients he worked to purchase and also bought from stores and makes our family dinner. He often teaches our kids to do certain kitchen tasks: how to brown hamburger, how to chop vegetables, how to make his specialities of chicken parmigiana and tortilla soup. Our daughter takes these lessons seriously; she turned 18 this year and knows she will soon be on her own. She already has more cooking skills than I did when I married. He taught me how to cook, too.

His nimble fingers have sewed a quilt for Timothy's room. Created incredible stained glass windows. Sanded baby furniture. Built tables and bookcases for our home. Our children join him in his tiny shop, watching and learning, sometimes working alongside. His dream is for a large work shop where they can all work together on various projects.

His artistic talents are obvious in our children. E makes and sells her own jewelry, twisting wire with practiced hand. T and B draw incredibly-detailed cartoons and sketches that amaze us both. J takes a more hands-on approach to art as the one who most enjoys working alongside his father, yet he also caught Keith's musicality as J strums guitar and plays piano. Their father applauds their work, encouraging them to keep at it. Practice, practice, he smiles.

His gentle hands tousle hair, tickle ribs, pull a face toward him for a kiss. At bedtime his deep voice, quiet and strong, prays over the three boys who surround him in a circle, arms linked around each others' bodies. While taking J shopping for his birthday, he persuaded this middle son to spend his birthday money not on a video game but on airsoft BB guns for the other two boys so that they can all three play together. (J had received one from us that morning.) Keith then purchased an airsoft BB gun for himself, brimming with plans for a surprise ambush in the midst of their twilight wars in our yard. His plans to sniper them from upstairs are intense, requiring a platform on the roof outside our bathroom window. He's more excited about playing these "war games" than they are.

He teaches them to walk in wisdom, thinking first of others, going to God with all needs. And he does not only "talk the talk" but he lives out his wise advice each we all can see his love in the hours he works, the food he cooks, the art he creates, the prayers he prays, the many sacrifices he makes. We only need to notice, to see truly.

I thank God for this gentle, quiet, strong artistic man--the father of our children and a role model for each of them. May our boys grow into the man and father that he is, and may our daughter marry a man like her father.

I love you, my dearest one. Happy Fathers' Day!

With love and gratitude,


Katrina said...

That's a great tribute to honor your husband for father's day!

Susanne Barrett said...

Thanks, Katrina. I need to "toot his horn" because he never will. :)

Jane D. said...

That is really lovely Susanne, we are both fortunate to have such wonderful husbands and fathers to our children x.


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