(and let’s be clear – I’m using the title ‘dad’ broadly – this is a letter to biological fathers and adoptive fathers, to the father of my children and the father of my father, to the men who step up and fill the space left by a father, to the men who mentor young people in their midst, who instinctively protect, encourage, walk alongside and champion. This letter is for you…)
There’s a word that comes to mind when I think of who you are and what I love about you most, and I hope you won’t take this the wrong way, but the word is WILD.
Yes, it is.
Because you’ve kept the campfire embers alight, you’ve managed to keep a bit of the caveman alive deep within, something of that rough and ready, hunter-gatherer instinct.
And it does us good.
Life’s better for your rough ‘n’ tumble play, the enticement to explore, your plain-speaking, your fun-seeking and your mud-magnetism. When life is trying to tame us, to drag children into adulthood, oh, how we need your wild.
Dad, we love that your heart’s still a little bit wild.
And sometimes I think you get a bad rap. You’re expected to walk against the grain of who you are, to smooth out the wild, tease out the knots, iron it, hide it under a hat. And that’s when things go awry. Because we need men like you, who will be men. Who will be a little bit wild.
What is wild anyway?
Wild is fiercely protective.
Wild doggedly seeks to provide.
Wild is beastly careless of facades.
Wild knows boundaries.
Wild is loyal.
Every family needs those things. Grounding. Strength. Wrapped up in love.
That’s what you are. And because it’s Fathers Day tomorrow and all, I just want to say that I’m wild about you and all your wildness.
Long live the wild in you!