Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Father (as in paternal parent, not God) (04/10/08)
TITLE: Fatherhood Dreams
By Joshua Janoski
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He lays there, snuggly nestled under his sheets, listening intently to every word I speak. His eyelids slowly begin to make their descent. He fights entering dreamland, but his body forces a transport there. I finish reading the sentence I am on, and then laying the book down on his night table, I kiss his forehead before quietly exiting the room.
I tiptoe into my bedroom, past my lovely queen who lays sleeping in our bed, exhausted from tending to the castle all day. Peering down into a crib, my eyes focus their gaze upon the darling princess that lays there. Tiny fingers are clenched tightly to a blanket, as she breathes ever so softly. Gently, I caress the smooth skin of her little arm with my finger, and whisper “I love you.” My body slips into bed, and my mind into euphoric dreams, but it isn’t long before the crashing sound of reality rudely interrupts my thoughts and ejects me back into the real world.
My bedroom becomes a desk, my castle a cubicle. There is no queen to go home to and no little princess to hold. Bedtimes stories entail me reading a novel to myself inside my small apartment. My present condition is a far cry away from my visions of the future, but I refuse to quit dreaming. I want to be a father someday.
As a single male, I often wonder if my desire is somewhat mad. Shouldn’t the yearning for children be reserved for little girls with plastic dollies and newlyweds just settling down? Yet, for some reason, I cannot discard this desire. I look at my two-year old niece, who I absolutely adore. She reminds me of all the wonderful little things children bring to this world, and at the same time, she also reminds me that being a parent of a child requires lots of patience and dedication. I can go home to peace and quiet when my niece becomes unruly, but I cannot run away if I have my own children. This makes me wonder what kind of father I would be. Would I be ready for the challenge? What qualities could I bring to the table that would make me a champion to my kids?
I think of the qualities that I appreciate in my own dad. While far from perfect, my father has traits within himself that I would like to adopt. He is compassionate, sensitive, caring, and raised me to serve the Lord. He treats my mom well, and would never abuse or hurt a woman in any way.
I look at Jesus Christ, his life, and his example. He welcomes all children, young and old, into his open arms and provides them security and comfort. He never turns a child away, but instead, embraces the unique wonder and faith than can be found within each one.
If I could take even a fraction of the qualities found in both my earthly and heavenly fathers and use them to raise my own children, then maybe, I would be able to be the kind of dad that I want to be. Does that mean I won’t have problems? There will come a day when I am no longer “cool” to my children. I will be replaced with friends, dating, and school. The warm hugs and kisses will vanish, as puberty sets in, and their bodies and minds begin to change and grow. It is at that time, I would hope I had given them enough love and teaching, so that they would not stray too far from their family, and most importantly, from God.
I am thankful for what God is doing in my life as a single man, but every once in a while I get dreams of tricycles, baby dolls, and Lego blocks. I just hope when the time arrives, I will be prepared to be the biological dad that my heavenly dad would want me to be.
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