Fathers Are So Special, With a Very Special Love

“My belly HURTS!”

Blonde curls bobbing, our two-year-old groaned and hunched over, hands on her abdomen.

In a just-woke-up-from-a-dead-sleep stupor, I tried unsuccessfully to problem solve every possible reason for the pain. Finally, her robe clad father scooped up the suffering child and held her until she vomited…mostly in the toilet. While cleaning up, he quietly taught her that all of those feelings were a warning of what was coming. Thirty minutes later, this same child recognized the signs and rushed to the toilet on her own. Armed with disinfectant and paper towels, Father was there to celebrate her victory and to settle her back into a nest of bedding on our bathroom floor.

As a team, we finished scouring the bathroom and crawled back into sleeping positions. Then we heard a cry from the sick bed.

“Dad? Daddy! Dad?”

“Yes, Daughter?”

“I love you, Dad.”

“I love you, too.”

“You’re not going anywhere, are you Daddy?”

“No, Daughter. I’m right here, not very far away.”

“OK. Please don’t go anywhere without me, Daddy.”

“Ok, Sweetheart. Good night.”

I suppose neither of them thought much of that conversation, but it sure struck a cord in my little heart.

As our daughter called out to her Father, it is easy to imagine having a very similar conversation with our Heavenly Father — -any time, any place. In the words of President Russell M. Nelson, “Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!”1

Similarly, how often have I asked for help and understanding during a difficult time and felt divine love as well as bits of understanding. Then later I have felt victorious JOY as that new knowledge was applied to a similar situation “all by myself”.

“The role of father is of divine origin….. The perfect, divine expression of fatherhood is our Heavenly Father.”2

How grateful I am for a Heavenly Father who is close by and for earthly fathers who just keep trying!

A favorite children’s primary song reminds us:

Fathers are so special, with a very special love.

They watch us and protect us.

They guide us and direct us

Back to our home above. 3

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Suzanne Burnett

Mother of twelve children and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares spiritual insights learned through parenting and marriage.