A Prayer About Fatherhood Answered Through the Veil of a Homework Assignment

Once upon a time, I wrote a letter to St. Joseph. His feast day rolled around, and I was writing him because as a father, I was feeling a bit like Sisyphus. You know, the king the gods punished by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.

Being a father is like that sometimes, isn’t it? In my note to St. Joseph I made an observation,

As fatherhood goes, the method that many love about you, you know, the leading by example thing? That’s overrated, and pretty ineffective, at least as I’ve come to see. I find that I’m always explaining things to my children, and telling them to do things they don’t want to do, all the time. I’m not sure if that was your experience with your own natural children (?) or with your step-child Jesus.

If it was, I wish you’d say something to us dads out here. Did Jesus ever put you through the wringer?

I finished that post up with a plaintive sounding prayer request.

One last thing. When you have a moment, pray for me, will you? I’d be much obliged.

Did you know that sometimes your prayers are answered through a homework assignment? It’s true and I have the proof for you below.

It’s a brief little essay my youngest son (eleven years old) wrote for school. See, I got home from work yesterday and my wife gave me the heads up that the laptop was upstairs and in use. Something about an essay due tomorrow, why didn’t he work on it over the Fall Break (?), etc.

I just grabbed a beer and and a book and chilled out. A half hour later, I was asked to proofread this. I got a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye as a result.

My American hero

     My American hero is my dad. He used to a be a Marine, and he was on embassy duty and in an artillery battalion. He traveled all over the world, he’s gone to places like Egypt and Japan. He is very strong because he did a lot of physical activity in the Marines. He became a Staff Sergeant and was a very strong leader. But later, when I was still young, he got in a car crash with a few other Marines. When the crash happened, he was asleep, and he broke a lot of bones. But he eventually recovered after a few months in the hospital.

After that he left the Marines and worked at Exel Logistics, and he became one of the managers there. But, when my dad retired from the Marines, we moved to Tennessee from California. We found a home in xxxx, a town in the city of Knoxville, in East Tennessee. He didn’t find a job for two years. But then he found a job in the Archives in downtown Knoxville. He has had that job from then till now. So he is the one who earns the money for our family.

He teaches us about God and the Catholic Church. And he takes us to church every Sunday. He gets us involved with church activities. When we do something wrong, he corrects us and helps us with what we are doing. He cares about our grades and helps us with our homework. He likes when we join programs and supports us at our school activities, like attending my first 6th Grade Band concert to cheer me on. He teaches us about life skills. He loves cars and racing. He buys us things that we need.

He is very funny. He tries to make us happy. He buys us pets. He gives us money for good grades on our report cards. He makes special occasions, like birthdays, really good by taking us out to eat. He is dedicated to his job, he loves his family, he is a hardcore Catholic, and he is an awesome parent. That is why my father is my American hero.

I guess being there, and being an example, counts for something after all. Pardon me if I mark this down as another minor miracle at Casa del Weathers.

Thanks for praying for me, St. Joseph. Please keep it up (Lord knows, I need your prayers!).

 

  • Warren Jewell

    Bravo, Dad, you’re always going to get what you have coming. Accept the recognition, the appreciation, the plaudits. And, let that lump in your throat take a while for you to swallow.

    Do ya get the impression that if salvation in Christ came in this day of ours, you would already have met Saint Joseph at some base, a former Marine non-com just stopping by? Not a difficult thing to imagine . . .

    And, as Saint Joseph has reached out for you, maybe, could be, out of your prayer Christ reached out to touch your son’s loving observations about, you, his Dad? And, because, after all, Christ at 11-y-o could tell that His Dad, Joseph, carpenter of Nazareth, was His Jewish hero.

  • Maggie Goff

    Wow, I’m catching up on posts. It’s real dusty in here, having a problem seeing…. And you are funny, hilarious at times, even. Many times. ;)


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