The messages of fatherhood
Far too often, the world tries to relegate fathers to the realm of dad jokes and disciplinarians. While we love a good, corny joke, we also know fathers nurture and care and tend and love, often in ways that are behind the scenes. And we love them right back. Join us in celebrating dads everywhere. Happy Father’s Day!
Chris Justus has spent these past weeks teaching “weather school” online to kids and parents in quarantine. But his own children are teaching him important lessons every day.
“Becoming a Dad to my boys, Mason, 4, and Parker, 3, taught me unconditional love. I have learned to live on no sleep and my negotiating skills are now top notch. I learned living by example matters, what I say and do counts, little eyes are watching.
Finally, two words never meant so much: ‘Daddy’s home!’”
– Chris Justus, Chief Meteorologist at WYFF
“‘Holland, we have a placement for you,’ the social worker said over the phone. ‘Two little boys ages 3 and 4.’”
I didn't tell her that I had been planning to call her later that day – to withdraw my application to adopt. Instead, I thanked her, hung up and tried to resume breathing. I knew nothing about children and even less about being a dad, not having had one myself. But the absence of a parent can reveal just how vital a father is in life. This was my opportunity to provide for someone else what had been denied to me. Since the day I got the call from social services, I've had many other calls, from the principal, the children's pastor and the Highway Patrol. But they've all been part of the best call of all – the call to be a dad.”
– Holland Webb, co-author of “Adventures in Fatherhood: A Devotional,” writer and podcast co-host
Jimmy Anderson said having his child face challenges has meant “many peaks and valleys” in fatherhood.
“As a parent, autism has taught me patience (I’m a slow learner here), perspective, appreciation and gratitude – patience, because the goals we made during pregnancy have been replaced by new goals. I still receive the same joy when goals are reached, but many times a great deal of patience is required.
Keeping perspective may be the most difficult. No matter how the day goes, the sun still rises the next day and there is always a fresh start. I have a deep appreciation for a wife that is ‘rowing the boat’ right with me. When the waves are rough, we still row, and when the waters are calm and crystal clear we can enjoy those days together. And last, the gratitude to our village – friends, family and church family have walked and continue to walk with us on our journey.”
– Jimmy Anderson, teacher and coach at Dorman High School and volunteer with Family Connection of South Carolina programs, including the Spartanburg Buddy Walk and Breakfast with Santa
Special thanks to Family Connection of South Carolina (https://www.familyconnectionsc.org) for the day-to-day work of supporting families who face disabilities or special healthcare needs.
Hundreds of little ones look up to Matthew Critell every day, but his daughters are the center of his world.
“Being a dad is the best thing that has ever happened to me. My favorite part is seeing the joy in my girls' eyes when we play outside, snuggle for movie nights or enjoy a bike ride around the neighborhood. The best part is getting to revisit the joys of childhood in their eyes and know that I play a part in creating memories that will last a lifetime. Madelyn and Ellie are my everything!”
– Matthew Critell, principal of Bethel Elementary School