I was cleaning when Harold the Helicopter caught my eye. Harold’s been sitting on my husband’s dresser for years. It’s the spot where he keeps his important things, a sacred place I don’t usually disturb.
“Dad can fix anything” was what my son said years ago when Harold first broke and he asked his dad to fix it. I remember telling Junior that Harold would be hard to fix. He emphatically reminded me that Dad Can Fix Anything.
So he gave Harold to his dad, who placed the toy on his dresser, among his important things to take care of. That was at least five years ago.
Poor Harold. I don’t think he’s going to be fixed.
At least he’s safe sitting on Dad’s shelf among The Important Things.
There are other things on my husband’s dresser along with Harold, a testimony to the honest faith my children have had that their Dad can fix anything.
Tractor wheels, rockets, Barbie toys, Star Wars figures, and Harold.
Time has gone quickly since Harold arrived among The Important Things. Junior forgot about him. He transitioned from Thomas the Tank Engine to Star Wars and now to ESPN.
So here Harold sits, but his presence isn’t forgotten.
To a child, their dad is a hero whether he wants to be or not, wearing an invisible cape only children can see.
As a counselor, I often hear kids say, “I don’t have a dad.” What they’re really saying is, “My dad isn’t a part of my world.” He’s absent, not present, or even known. But the child still yearns for his presence.
In their eyes, Dad’s presence, or lack of it, is immeasurably powerful.
As our kids have gotten older, I still hear, “Dad can fix it.” I’m often tempted to tell my older-and-wiser children their dad really can’t fix a lot of things. But I hesitate, knowing their hero with the cape will at least attempt to fix it, even though he may not succeed.
For his kids, the process itself is powerful. To them, it says, “Somehow, my Dad will take care of me. If he’s not able to fix what’s broken, the effort itself will be bookmarked among “The Important Things” in life.
Just like Harold.
How do you let your children know you care about what is important to them? Perhaps it’s not fixing a toy, but how do you let them know what is important to them is important to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Happy Father’s Day, Superman.