I wrote this on Father’s Day a few years ago. It’s still one of my favorites…
Once Upon A Time…
There was a little girl and her Daddy. And they went burshin’.
Burshin’, you wonder?
Well, the little girl was only three and that was the best she could do. Fishin’ was what she was trying to say.
They took their little jon boat and went burshin’ and caught all kinds of bursh! Big ones, little ones. Some they kept. Some they didn’t. They were hooking worms and eating sandwiches when all of a sudden…
Well, that little girl of three wasn’t scared at all, cause she had her daddy with her and she knew that he would protect her.
Sure enough, he grabbed his handy dandy pistol that he must have kept in his boot and started shootin’! I mean he shot that snake right OUT of that tree! And the ones swimming towards them, poor things didn’t have a chance!
POW! POW! BANG!
Her daddy was the best shot on the Ashepoo River. No one could match him.
She wasn’t even worried about the one that fell in the boat. Her daddy yanked that thing right up by it’s tail, flung it around his head a few times and threw it down the river!
She was so proud. But not surprised. Because, simply put, he was her hero.
They counted their fish like nothing ever happened and drove their little jon boat off into the sunset towards home. Just another day on the river with Daddy.
I have told this story for years. Fondly reminiscing, bragging slightly on my brave daddy, sharing my childhood memories with family and friends. Never realizing until just a couple of years ago that the events of the story were not actual fact, but instead exaggerated imaginings of a three-year-old little girl.
My daddy really did take me fishing in a little jon boat and I’m sure we ate sandwiches. But there were never any snakes or cowboy acrobatics, not even a pistol stowed away in his boot, since he was probably wearing flip-flops.
I had pretty much made the entire thing up in my head and not only believed it to be true, but shared this story as unadulterated fact!
Mom and Dad corrected me as I shared it around the family table a few years back. I was completely clueless to the fact that I had been telling lies!
We all had a pretty good laugh that night.
But deep down I was a little devastated. I had really believed it to be true and it was like I woke up from my dream, only to realize none of it was real.
I thought about it all for a while, wondering how I could have imagined such a story and believe it to the point of telling it as truth.
Where had those snakes come from? And the heroic actions of my father?
I believe they came from the place inside of my heart that believed my daddy could do anything. That place inside of every little girl’s heart that wants to hold tightly to the belief that daddy’s can do no wrong, that they will always protect their little girls and will always be her hero.
But that really isn’t true either, is it?
I think maybe that is why it was so hard for me to except the fact that the story I had believed to be true for so many years, wasn’t.
No matter how good our daddies are, they will disappoint us.
But that’s ok.
Everyone needs permission to fail. No one can live under the weight of perfection or idolization. Eventually a chink in the armor will give and parts of their weaknesses will be exposed.
And when that happens it can be really painful. Devastating even.
But only because it exposes more about us than the other person.
We have been given an insatiable need to be wanted, protected and fought for. And sometimes we see hints of that in this life and how sweet that can be. But mostly it’s just a hint.
Because we are broken people who need Someone much bigger than us to be our Rescuer, our Protector, our Provider.
We get confused sometimes and place that responsibility on the people living around us. Instead of accepting their propensity to fail us and loving them anyway.
It’s a great thing having a good daddy. I am thankful for that gift. Thankful for a man who has always loved me and been a constant in my life. I’m even thankful for his failures too. Because they remind me of my own and my need for a Heavenly Daddy who has made a way. A way for grace, a way for rescue, a way for forgiveness and a way for this little-girl-heart to never stop believing in a Daddy who will always be her hero.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. I love you. And thanks for taking me burshin’.