In May of 2012, The Star-Ledger reported that a father from New Jersey took his 5-year-old son to a park to feed the ducks. As they approached the parking lot, the son, who had just learned to unbuckle himself, jumped from the car and ran straight toward a 35-foot cliff. When the father realized his son was racing to the edge and wasn’t going to stop, he leapt from the car, snagged his speeding son, and saved his life. The car, which was still moving, took the 35-foot dive instead.
A nearby police officer came rushing to the scene, only to give the dad two tickets: one for forgetting to put on his emergency brake, and another for not being able to provide proof of insurance (his information was still in the car, which was now at the bottom of the cliff).
To the police officer, it might have not have been a big deal that the dad protected his son. The officer even said that if the dad hadn’t saved his son’s life, the dad would have gone to jail for child endangerment. What mattered to the police officer was that he to do his job, which was to give tickets.
Now, say what you want to about the police officer, but how many times do we simply expect fathers to do the right thing without showing them gratitude? Do we sometimes take for granted the men God has placed in our kids’ lives? With Father’s Day quickly approaching, here are some quick and easy ideas to let these special dads know how much they are appreciated.
1. Create an award. Have kids make certificate of appreciation proclaiming some specific things they are good at. Let the kids decorate it, personalize it, and give it to their dad, grandfathers, or special male figures in their life.
2. Decorate for Dad. Have a bulletin board? Decorate it for Father’s Day. Here’s a great bulletin board idea in honor of Dad.
3. Encourage sharing (of feelings). Sometimes all it takes to make the perfect Father’s Day is a kid letting their dad know just how they feel. Encourage your kids to voice how awesome they really think their dad is. Consider recording them sharing special memories or fun times and then playing back the responses during the Father’s Day service.
The fines that went along with the New Jersey dad’s tickets totaled $110, and I can only guess at the cost of recovering and replacing the car. But, something tells me that the dad would have saved his son’s life no matter what the cost.
This Father’s Day, let’s not only remember the men in our lives who sacrificed for us, but let’s also celebrate God who gave the ultimate sacrifice.