Dads, Superheroes and Set-aside Dreams

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Ordinary superheroes.

Their courage is not measured in Die Hard terms. They don’t even get to fly.

But they are heroes all the same.

Dads like John Kelly.

He works not far from where I work. Sometimes I stop and chat with him.

His three favorite topics?

  • his wife
  • his kids
  • and God

Today, I asked if I could interview him.

“I wish people wouldn’t do that,” he said the moment he saw me. Weird. I hadn’t even asked him yet.

“Walking up on me while I’m working,” he clarified.

OK, I didn’t say he had nerves of steel. But, he has something better. He is madly in love with his wife.

And, his kids.

“They make me whole,” he said.

John explained how random moments of interactions fill up the spaces in a parent’s heart.

“There are little moments your kids look up at you and share something,” he said as he leaned back against wooden railing, “and you think ‘Gee, thanks for letting me into your world’”.

I didn’t want to be a party pooper with all this good will and compassion flowing. But, I had to ask.

“What was the biggest sacrifice you made for your family? What did you give up?”

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John shared his lifelong dream.

  • He wanted to build a log home.
  • Even wrote an essay about log home construction in his senior year of high school.
  • Got an A.

“Sometimes you have to put the dream aside” he said.

Right now he’s busy being a husband, father and grandfather.

I asked John, “If you could share only one piece of advice with your kids, what would it be?”

John would have none of that “one piece” stuff. (Obviously, he was in the business of raising kids not developing one-liners for fortune cookies).

Among other insights, John shared about

  • surrendering in love to your partner
  • and keeping alcohol out of the home.

Finally, he said,

“If you are given the opportunity to step out I think you should take it.”

John told about attending a recent gathering to celebrate his daughter’s ordination. In the midst of it all, John felt compelled to share a song.

“I don’t consider myself a good singer,” he confided.

But, he was not about to miss the moment.

John sang  about a blind boy who asked his father, “What color is the wind?”

I looked up the lyrics as soon as got back home. The last part of the second verse made me wonder.

“…my favorite colour has to be
The colour of your love for me
And Daddy, I’ve been told
That love is always gold.” *

Maybe Dads were superheroes simply because they had the courage to

  1. set aside their own dreams
  2. to let better dreams come true.

Sometimes just for a while.

After all, John is a builder at heart.

I found that out on

“My blog is all about building,” he says, “How God works in our lives. About the father heart of God.”

Interesting post on February 16, 2012, entitled Get On With It.

John wrote

“…I feel this is going to be my last entry till I break ground for real.”

*What Colour Is The Wind Lyrics performed by Charlie Landsborough

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