Victoria Advocate, A Different Perspective
One of my favorite times of the week is the day my grandsons arrive after school. We spend the afternoon together, playing all kinds of card games and board games. Weather permitting, we go outside where the seven-year-old instigates war between caterpillars and tent worms. The tent worms are the bad guys since they sport horn-like antennas on their heads. They just look mean, while the sleek black caterpillars come across as rather harmless.
This past month, however, the boys worked on a different project. Over Spring Break, the kid church program was having a movie night featuring homemade boxcars. When we asked the boys if they wanted to participate, they were all for it, so we looked online for boxcar designs. A learning experience for all since none of us knew boxcars existed. My brain kept circling around the matchbox cars they played with as toddlers, but no…two entirely different things.
After perusing the internet, the boys chose a prototype and off we went. My husband and I made a trip to the U Haul store for a box big enough for two boys to “ride” in. The next stage was the rough cutout of a small race car. Papa let the boys choose the color to paint the box. They each chose a different color, so Papa drew a line down the middle and painted one side yellow and the other side red which satisfied both boys.
One afternoon, the boys donned old t-shirts and plastic gloves and painted the accessories. They loved using sponge brushes to paint the wheels, but their favorite was the spray paint. So much fun to shake and hear it rattle, then spray gold and silver paint for headlights and taillights. Papa even designed slits so they could stand inside and carry the box while they walked.
Finally, the big day came. I drove to Hobby Lobby and bought a package of black stick-on letters so each grandson could put his name on the inside of the car door. Papa carefully tied the car on its side in the pickup so it wouldn’t blow to pieces on the way to church. The car made it just fine, but the letters were gone with the wind. So much for my paltry contribution.
They drove/walked their car into the building, proud as punch of their entry. Lots of Kodak moments as kids carried in their homemade boxcars. An alien vehicle, a banana boat, the Holy Wagon—every box was a sweet, creative original.
But best of all for the boys—their dad, who had been out of town, made it to movie night! He sat with them the whole time, and when it was time to leave, he picked up their bulky boxcar as if it weighed nothing and carried it out for them.
As much joy as the boxcar brought, it was too big to store anywhere. Then Phil had an idea. He told the boys we’d build a fire, burn the box, and roast s’mores. We followed through with the plan two weeks later, much to their delight. They stomped and thoroughly trampled the former race car, then took turns throwing parts of it on the fire and watched pieces of ash float into the air like fiery butterflies.
Our society leans toward downplaying a father’s role in the home, but actually, there’s no substitute for a good father. Children gain their sense of worth and identity from their dads. As adults, we’re not so different. When we know our heavenly father, we gain our sense of worth and identity as well. He made us. We belong to him. It’s who we are—the children of God.