I've been thinking about the males in my life ever since Father's Day. Although I celebrated the day, it's been two years since I celebrated with my father (he passed away in 2011). Since then I've turned my attention to the other males in my family (hint: they're not all men).
I thought about my father, of course, and the other men of his generation who have passed on. I remembered how they served their country, raised their families, and built businesses. God, country and family were very important to them, and they modeled this in their every day lives.
I thought about my brother, who is an exemplary father. He has a special relationship with each of his children, and I think they are incredibly lucky. Whether it was a hunting or sports trip, a quick drive for ice cream, or a tennis game, he made the effort to spend time with one or all of them. Every time I see him with one or all of his kids, I see the bond he's built with them. There's laughter, an inside joke or two, and lots of love.
I thought about my male cousins who are exceptional fathers, teaching their children to shoot and fish, then taking them on expeditions to hone their skills. These men teach them about safety, but also about stewardship, responsibility and integrity.
I thought about my cousin who had no children of his own, but he has been a long time father figure for his numerous nieces and nephews. He was also a devoted son to his parents until their deaths in recent months, tirelessly attending to their wants and needs.
I thought about The Husband, who has no biological children, but has a step-son from a previous relationship, along with my two children. The word "step" isn't in his vocabulary; they are all his children, and he treats them accordingly. The same is true for our niece, The Princess, who is now living with us. He couldn't love them more if they were "his."
And finally, the "other" male in my life.....Zeus. Every day when I got out for the mail, he insists on going with me. As I walk to the mailbox (all of 30 feet from the house), he walks about halfway then stands guard, vigilant, ensuring my safety. I love this! He's not out there to play or sniff or even pee.....he stays at his post, waits until I'm done, and trots back inside with me.
I love the males in my life. I love their dedication to family, their integrity, and their humility. None of them think that what they are doing is "special"....it's just the right way to live life.
Have you been there?