Today’s Father’s Day. I’m sharing the message my daughter wrote to her dad today. It’s a reminder that parenting doesn’t happen during momentous occasions, but in the tender, ordinary ones. I urge all of us to pray for and be involved in the lives of children whose fathers are absent or non-existent in their lives. The life of a father is foundational to all children.
The farmer’s strong hands gently clasp her little ones as they walk back the lane of his boyhood home. She learns only the most important words, “cow,” “hay,”and “corn,” as his calloused hands point them out to her–the farmer’s little daughter.
The farmer’s dusty hands grip the wet bottle as he nudges the orange tip into the greedy calf’s mouth. He shows her what’s to become her winter chore as the hardworking farmer’s daughter.
The farmer’s gentle hands softly knock on the closed door behind which he hears muffled sobs. She reluctantly lets him in. His quiet words turn tears to laughter on the face of the farmer’s teenage daughter.
The farmer’s knowing hands give her a t-shirt with the emblem of the college she’s chosen. He drove with her there to visit, watching her glow with excitement, knowing before she did that she’d be moving over 600 miles away. Because she’s his farmer’s daughter.
The farmer’s shaking hands hug her goodbye and she feels his tears on her surprised face because he never cries. As he drives the family away from that university on move-in day, he watches her grow smaller, the farmer’s not-so-little-daughter.
The farmer’s welcoming hands hug me as as I run crying to him in the airport. It’s my third trip overseas. He listens as I babble the whole ride home of hopes and dreams. He’s quiet listening, but I know he understands this is the beginning, not the end. He never tells me not to go, but stands waiting when I come home.
And I’ll always come home, because I’m the Farmer’s Daughter.
–Kaylee Jayne, Yoder, June 21, 2015