Photo: Pixabay

As adults, we may overlook this Dad even though we’ve seen him around. He sets the bar for servant parenting: provides without complaint and sacrifices his own desires to create a bountiful life for his family.

His mere presence fills the familial atmosphere with a sense of lingering peace. Somehow, you know if anything bad happens or goes awry, he will swoop in and save the day Superman st‌yle.

This type of father is a role model for his sons and daughters in countless ways. For his boys, he teaches how to respect others, especially their mother. He brings back the charm of chivalry by opening her car door, getting her a plate of food before his own, and practicing the art of listening instead of the more male-oriented role of trying to “fix” a problem.

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For his girls, he nurtures their self-esteem and inner Cinderella with tenderness and unconditional love: warm embraces, showing up and supporting her at all events, taking her out on special dates.

He is a Dad who chooses to appreciate every situation or scenario for what it is. He rolls with the punches and loves through the mess as if Grace were his middle name.

One of his most endearing qualities is his ability to calculate on-the-spot risk/reward assessments of pending decisions. While moms tend to what if themselves into a no answer, this Dad’s inner fun meter tethers so tight to the joys of adventure that petty worrying doesn’t have room to surface. “Yippee”, say all his little children.

He is a man of few words, living life with a spirit of St. Francis by sharing the Gospel at all times, using words when necessary. Although, one obligatory time for speaking always exists: when he has an opportunity to brag on his kids.

His pent-up joy and love has nowhere else to go but out, so even when his kids beg him to stop out of embarrassment, he continues with humble abandon. The overflow is adorable.

With so many rich qualities, how can someone overlook and take for granted such a Dad? If the above description describes your Dad, then I’m sure he captures your heart this day with ample celebration.

But, if not your Dad, who is this mystery person who deserves some extra attention?

The father of your kids—in some way, shape, or form.

I’m humbled to say God’s blessed me to the detail with the man described above as the father of mine.

While I always engaged my kids with homemade gifts and special outings for my hubby when they were young, I’m bereft to admit that since my nest emptied I’ve done a subpar job of making the day special. In part because my heart carries a bit of numbness into the holiday due to non-existent relationships with my fathers—biological and step-father. Perhaps you can relate.

However, this year I’m going the extra mile to honor the greatest father I know. Most kids won’t be able to express the proper depth of gratitude to their Dads until they mature into seasoned adults and/or fathers of their own. Our hubbies deserve such recognition from us now, so how about we over deliver?

If you have a man who is an amazing father, here are five ways to supersize your celebration beyond anything your kids plan:

1. Forget a Hallmark. Write him a letter instead and tell him from the heart all the ways you appreciate his role as father. Your attention to detail will mean a lot.

2. Think of one activity he loves to do that you can’t stand to do and do it. Then start a habit of saying “sure” each time hubby asks you to do something you’d rather not. Years of involvement in marriage ministry taught me how saying sure, even when we’d rather drag our nails across a chalkboard board, enriches our marriage. And the sacrifice is a way of saying thank you for all our husbands selfless service as a father.

3. Splurge on a mancave item or tool, toy, etc. he’s been wishing for. Chances are he won’t buy what he wants because he’ll put the kids first. Buy it for him anyway. Then take an interest in it and appreciate his passion.

4. Open his car door, get his plate of food first, listen to him talk about something even if you could care less.

5. Reenact one of your first dates, the one when you knew inside he’d be a great father. Tell him how all your premonitions came true.

And, if the opportunity still exists, thank your father-in-law for raising his son to be a stellar Dad. Share how his gift continues to bless going forward.