My dad is a terrible cook.
Wow, that comes off a little harsh.
My dad is a very below average cook.
He’s an excellent brownie maker. I’d put his brownies up against Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines any day.
But the cool part about my dad is he never let his poor cooking skills stop him from hanging out with us kids on Saturday mornings.
In fact on one Saturday morning in particular he decided to make us pancakes. I’m not sure where my mom was but I’m guessing she was far away and my dad was our ONLY option.
He mixed up the batter pulled out the frying pan and went to town.
The pancakes were awful. Seriously. I’m not pulling punches here.
They were burnt on the outside and doughy in the middle. They didn’t look anything like the picture displayed on the package of the mix.
Not wanting to burst his proud father bubble I kept “eating” them.
“Eating” them consisted of tossing them on the floor under the table when his back was turned.
I “ate” seven to nine pancakes that morning much to my dad’s delight.
He was saying things like, “Wow Andy, you sure like your pancakes.”
I smiled and said, “Well you’re an excellent cook.”
I didn’t want to crush his spirits. I didn’t want to make him feel bad. So I just hid the truth.
Being older now and having kids of my own I really appreciate my dad’s effort.
He was busting his butt to make his kids happy. This included going outside his comfort zone and trying his hand at the domesticated dad role.
As it turns out, I’m a pretty below average cook as well. And oddly enough one of the things I’m really good at making is… you guessed it… pancakes.
Honestly, I’m sure there’s a psychological reason why I’m good at it, but I am an excellent pancake maker.
Mine look exactly like the picture on the box.
However, there are other dad things I’m really bad at. Like singing my kids to sleep.
My dad would come into my room each night with his guitar and sing us songs as we went to bed.
It’s one of the great memories I have of my childhood. I still know the songs too. Mostly John Denver stuff.
My poor kids have never experienced this, except for those nights they’ve spent at my parents’ house.
Here’s the point about this whole childhood recollection: There are no sacred pancakes.
There are not specific things that are must dos for dads.
You don’t have to be a great cook to love your kids. You don’t need to be a world-class athlete. Being a member of Mensa is not a prerequisite to being a wonderful father.
The only real requirement for being a great dad is love.
Loving your kids and helping them feel secure and confident in your love for them is the best gift you can pass on to your children.
This is seen in the way you talk to your children; including when you’re pleased and upset with them.
In the way you love your wife.
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. (Ephesians 5.25, The Message)
The way you smile at your children when you see them.
In how you treat others (friends and strangers).
I am the most important man in my kids’ life and that has nothing to do with my pancake skills and lack of singing skills.
It has everything to do with the way I show my love and care for them.
I am giving them a small glimpse of the unconditional love God has for them.
Thanks for trying with the pancakes dad. Your effort still speaks volumes to me today.