Memories Last a Lifetime

Why is it that whenever Mother’s Day comes around our churches are all about “Mom you’re so special, you’re the best, take time to relax, you deserve it, you’re so precious”. They’ll take them out for dinner, “get their nails and hair did” (which by the way, I don’t disagree with any of it, Mothers get under-appreciated too often and not recognized enough).

However, the following month comes around and we have Father’s Day, but now it’s “Dad, you need to step up to the plate! Dad, you need to man-up and take the lead! Dad, be an example to your son(s)!”, and so on… On top of it, Dad is the one having to BBQ out in the humid weather, especially if you’re in South Texas, instead of a nice meal at a nice and cool air-conditioned restaurant. Most Dads will say, “Meh, it’s ok, as
long as I get to see my kids and enjoy their presence.” Which is a true sentiment.

As a father myself, over the years I’ve learned many things, and grown in many areas. After our sixth child, and first grandson, I realized, I haven’t got it all together. My wife and I tell our older two daughters that “Children are like pancakes, the first one or two come out all weird shaped and odd, until we adjust the batter.” Meaning that we have made mistakes in raising them, yet we have worked towards being better parents, and still we have much to learn.

During the process of life, many opportunities arise where we can make memories of which we will not soon forget, including some that we would rather forget. I enjoy teaching our 7-year-old son how to work with his hands, supervising him while he learns to mow the yard, use power tools and so on. One day after a neighbor had given us a couple of big turkeys, I decided to process one of them. My son has helped me process chickens, and is also aware of how to do a goat… Anyways, so nothing new for him, however, my grandson happened to be with us and wanted to see what we were doing, so I briefly explained what the process would be. Well, to save you the details and not to be too gory, as he saw the bird upside down draining, he began to stare into space and say in a solemn tone “blood, blood, blood.” I thought to myself “Well, how am I going to explain this one to his mother!?” But then he snapped out of it and said “Pappa, we can eat now!”

As dads, we sometimes don’t think things thoroughly, but we do care, we do have emotions, we do have interests, we do love, and we do strive to be better dads by teaching them to learn from our mistakes. When Adam was created, in the book of Genesis, on the very same day he witnessed His Father God create the Garden of Eden, of which to God it was a future past memory. Adam learned by observing the Father at work and using the resources available to His disposal. We are all given opportunities to make those memories, and we do not have much time to do so.

Dad, enjoy those few sweet moments with your kids and think about how many memories you’ll be able to share later when they grow up. And while we may not necessarily get pampered the same way as Mom, it’s ok, we are not in competition for their affection.

Happy Father’s Day!

Joel Ortega

“There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Deuteronomy 1:31


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