“Father” or “An Open Letter to Someone’s World”

Honor and gratitude wherever it’s due, I say. Meaning, I suppose, that I ought begin this post with thanks to my author for extending to me the privilege of writing it. There you are, Danielle; consider yourself acknowledged.

With that out of the way, introductions: Grateful greetings, honored readers, from Gant-o’-the-Lute! – king among minstrels, chief among characters and, perhaps highest of all, father of Allyn-a-Dale.

Seems to go rather counter to the foundations of the universe, doesn’t it? Any role greater than that of a minstrel? Surely not! But it’s so, though it took me quite long enough to know it.

The perusal of a number of the stories within my author’s portfolio might lead one to suspect that she’s had rather damaging relations with “the man who child in question did beget; or, sire or nay, did raise or nurture yet”. ‘Twould be a misguided assumption; so far as I know, Danielle and her father have always gotten on fairly well. Why, then, do a generous portion of her plotlines feature father-centric hardship? For the very same reason this third Sunday in June is dedicated far and wide to the celebration of fathers: Because fathers are important.

I didn’t use to think so; or I convinced myself I didn’t, for you see, I didn’t have one. I never met the man who biologically fathered me, and the man who would have been glad to serve as surrogate sire died too soon for me to appreciate him. All of it making for a poor first impression of paternity, as far as I was concerned, I entered the role of father to my own offspring woefully ill-equipped – and, it shames me to say, indifferent. I knew not all that I meant to the little lad ever at my side; knew not I was his world. But too many years of unfair heartache later, that lad has taught me this:

Fathers,

You don’t have to be Gant-o’-the-Lute for your child to believe you are the greatest.

Because you are Daddy, you are the strongest.

Because you are Papa, you are the smartest.

Nothing can touch you, for you are invincible.

“With Father” should be the safest place they’ll ever be.

Lute and little Allyn.

You are your child’s first hero, and you will not be worthy of it.

You will be the best that you know how, and you will yet fall short.

You will not give him enough.

You will not guard her enough.

You will not love them enough – and the more, the deeper, the harder you love them, the truer you’ll know this to be.

You will fail your children unforgivably.

And yet will they forgive you.

Or they’ll wish to.

In the innermost chamber of the heart, your child will always love you, always yearn for you, always crave a special heart-space of their own within you.

It cannot be helped.

You’re Father.

Honor that, and they will be forever grateful.