My son Deacon sat at our kitchen table and completed the drawing below. Once he finished, he got up, looked for me and proudly handed me the completed artwork. At two and a half years old, this was the first drawing he did with a degree of intentionality and purpose.
I looked at it and praised him for his efforts. Originally there were just two circle scribbles - a really large one and a really small one. I asked him what the circles were and he quickly pointed to the large one and said, "daddy", then pointed to the small scribble and said, "Deac Deac". A moment passed before he took the paper again and drew additional circles. Then he came back to me a second time and showed me the circles for "momma" and "sis sis".
I know there are several ways to look at the image below. I also know that children under the age of 3 years old are still at the very beginning of developing a mastery of metaphor, but I looked at Deacon’s drawing, saw the prominence of the father circle and couldn't help feeling the weight of fatherhood.
The first time the I met face to face with the magnitude of fatherhood was when my wife's grandfather and father passed away within three months of each other in 2012 and 2013. My father was continents away and these two men served as my adopted father figures in different ways. The void left by their deaths was immediately felt. Before their passing, I didn't dwell too much on the responsibilities of a husband or father, but afterwards I knew I needed to put a lot more thought and intentionality to my role as man, husband and father. Deacon's picture illustrates that perfectly and is a good reminder of how important a father is to a family.