A few days ago, my wife shared with me an article from the NY Times titled, Where Are All the Wild Things, Daddy? It is written by a father of a two-year old girl and he is wondering if he is doing his daughter a disservice by sharing with her books, he enjoyed in his childhood. Books like The Story of Babar, the elephant. When he was growing up, there were over 4 million elephants on earth; now their numbers are in the hundreds of thousands. The world he knew as a child was disappearing, and he knew it would be much more different when his daughter grew up. He cited many other examples of books, and animals (i.e., Wild Things) that are disappearing from our planet because of the way we humans are treating them – both directly (e.g., illegal hunting) and indirectly (e.g., land development, climate change).
In this essay, he describes how his feelings about being a father evolved and how he was inspired by a children’s book, Life, by Cynthia Rylant. Simply put, “life begins small … (and) is not always easy … (but) in every corner of the world, there is something to love. And something to protect.” A beautiful message, one to live with and share.
On this Father’s Day, I’m reminded of the joys I’ve witnessed through the eyes of my children, and grandchildren. At two, they get excited when they see a “big green truck”. Or the first time they see a sea lion at the zoo – and didn’t want to leave that spot! These are some of the joys that overwhelm all the difficulties of life, and the state of affairs of our world. Yes, as adults we must do the things to protect our world. And we must teach our children the important lessons of life, like love, and take care of others. We can’t let our frustrations with the way things are changing, spoil all that is good and beautiful for us to enjoy, like Life.
My son, when he was in 1st grade, colored a picture of a cornucopia and at the bottom, wrote: Dear God, Thanks for life. We really enjoy it. That picture hung on our wall for many years; he was so right then, and now. Happy Father’s Day. Enjoy life.