Okay...it took me a while to get back here to this article. I traveled this weekend and didn't get the chance to finish up. So without further ado, here is my next installment of H.O.F. Dads...my buddy Patrick Berger...
Patrick is probably my closest friend at my church, (Soeder...you are a close second)
and his daughter Clancy is my daughters best friend. Patrick and his wife Marianne have two children, the aforementioned Clancy and son calvin. Their son Calvin is "all boy" and I always get a kick out of his latest 100% boy escapades. One day he might be shooting a bow and arrow, the next building a tree house with his dad. Last Sunday I stopped over to visit and they were putting the finishing touches on a mini bike that they had built together over the past few years. They share a love for hockey and I've spent a lot of saturday mornings on the ice with the two of them.
Patrick grasps Calvin's boyhood fully and does a wonderful job exploring Calvin's heart. They are always doing things together, but not just Patrick dragging Calvin along to do something only he wants to do. Patrick invests himself in the things that bring happiness to Calvin and Clancy. That is a hall of fame dad. Most guys in their 40's don't really want to build a mini bike or a tree house but the great dads know that their kids want to do that stuff so they throw themselves into it with full force and reckless abandon. Patrick does this regularly. I admire from a distance, the bond he is building on a daily basis with those two wonderful children.
There is an element to their story that I won't share here but it makes the situation more wonderful and the love of Christ more evident. Patrick and his wife are special and their job has required more than the usual amount of research, prayer, self improvement, prayer, patience, prayer...and prayer. I've prayed with Patrick for his kids so I know his heart. He has the love of a real dad. He has challenged me at times in my own fatherhood, without even realizing it. He has the kind of loving determination to overcome the issues that present themselves to his children, that all Hall of Fame dads possess. I'm glad he is my friend and I'm glad he has allowed himself to be the other half of the "Iron sharpens iron" equation in my life on many occassions.
As I thought about this post and the previous one about my friend Chris, I was inspired by the number of additional dads I personally know that I could add here. So I believe I will expand this over the next few days.
For my divorced dad friends...nothing is stopping us from being H.O.F. dads too. Ours is certainly a more difficult task, but for me...if it means I need to get out of bed a little earlier to pray, or pay a little closer attention to how I live my faith in the little things, or just making it a point to be a good steward of those precious moments I get with my daughter, I have the chance to be a great dad. Even a Hall of Fame dad.