Tim becomes a dad, October 31, 2009
I was watching Tim play with G this afternoon. He was bench pressing her while she beamed down at him. Maybe I was reacting to the day, but I began thinking of my dad. He was the strongest, smartest, best dad in the whole world to me.
When you're little, dad seems like a superhero (sorry moms, myself included, but dad's are special that way). My sister would only ride a roller coaster buckled in with my dad. Every Sunday afternoon, we would each take a side and snuggle into my dad to watch "Sleeping Beauty" (yes, same movie every Sunday for what seemed like years. We were in a typical elementary rut). It was great when Mom watched us ride or skate or swim, but when Daddy came, that was something else. Daddy's time and attention were so special, probably because we didn't have it all the time and probably because we were only our "whole" family when he was home.
My dad and I "fixing" the car - this sort of help runs in the family
Sometimes I'm jealous of Tim's role. It seems like he's always playing while I'm preparing food or changing diapers. When I'm honest, I know that he has a tremendous job, a job I wouldn't want to take on. We try not to operate based off culture, but by following the Bible's plan (As G and I learned from VeggieTales this afternoon, "God's way is always better.") That makes Dad the Priest, Prophet, Protector and Provider for our family. That's not to say that I never engage in those roles, but Tim is chiefly responsible. What a job description!
Being raised after the feminist movement, I really don't know the life of separated genders, the Cleaver lifestyle. I've always heard that men and women aren't just equal; we're the same. And that Mom should be able to do all of mom's jobs and all of dad's. Obviously, this is a necessity for single moms, but what about married moms? Should we really do both jobs? What does that leave Dad with? If Mom does everything, is Dad extraneous? How would Moms feel if Dads took over all rolls? Maybe you're thinking, gosh, I wish my husband would take over. I'm sure it would be nice for a little while. But eventually, we might start to feel lost in our own house.
I don't want to turn this into a rant against feminism or how modern families are set up. Nor am I capable of laying out the theology of gender roles (I'll leave that to John Piper). Rather, I want to puzzle what feminism means in my relationship with my husband and as a mom, not just accept it thoughtlessly. I want to study what God says about men and women, moms and dads rather than assuming that I'm already living it. A holiday derived by a greeting card company is as good a time as any for some introspection.
All that being said, I'm very grateful for my dad, and I'm excited to come beside Tim as he enjoys fatherhood. Hope your families enjoyed your dads today!