The Unforgettable Beauty of Being the Involved Dad

I read about an important man who walked away from his family to do Big Good Things. He traveled the world, and helped poor children. But before he did, he made a deal with God. He said. “I’ll take care of Your children if You take care of mine.”

It didn’t work out that way. For his family, the story ended tragically, involving depression, loneliness, and even suicide.

I wonder if maybe God didn’t actually sign on to that deal. Maybe the “deal” was a one-sided justification for the man to continue to do what stroked his ego rather than what God really wanted him to do. Maybe God could have used someone else.

Perhaps I’m particularly aware of this struggle because it was mine too, when our kids were babies. I wanted freedom and autonomy. I kept trying to do the stuff I was used to doing, even though life had changed at home. It was enormously frustrating.

Frustrating, that is, until I made peace with my role as a husband and dad. I threw myself into it. After that, there was joy.

The garden I was given to keep—a little boy and a baby girl and a woman—was beautiful. My job? Helping them thrive and grow and bloom.

Parenting gets a bad rap in pop culture. Even in conversations when my wife and I first found out we were expecting, I kept hearing about how hard it was going to be, how aggravating the kid would be, and how this next season of life was sure to be awful.

Here’s how it usually goes down, and I share this from experience.

Your wife is expecting. “This is going to be pretty exciting,” you say.

They say, “You just wait.”

You just wait, because you won’t be getting any sleep once that baby’s born. It’s all over. It gets harder. It gets worse.

Your baby is fun. You think it’s hilarious how he’s amused by one particular stuffed dog above all other toys.

They say, “You just wait.”

Just wait, because when that kid is toddling around, pulling down the curtains, and getting into stuff, you can’t look away for a second. It gets harder. It gets worse.

Your toddler is a blast. Everything is new and wonderful to her, from puppies to repeatedly crashing towers of blocks. She laughs all the time and wants you to “Do again!”

They say, “You just wait.”

Just wait, because when your kid starts really talking, you’ll get tired of that sassy mouth. You’ll wish he was still a year old. It gets harder. It gets worse.

Your elementary-age kid is an absolute joy. You can take him swimming, play catch with him, and teach him hilarious end-zone dances to amuse your friends.

They say, “You just wait.”

Just wait until he’s a teenager, because he’ll learn how much he doesn’t like you and won’t want to have anything to do with you no matter what. He’ll eat everything, and you’ll get tired of him and want him out of the house as soon as possible. It gets harder. It gets worse.

Your teenager is fascinating. You can’t get enough of him. He makes you laugh because, well, you saddled him with your exact sense of humor. You get to play video games with him. He beats you at chess, sometimes twenty times in a row. He fills your home with music, first with a screeching sound that, months later, becomes recognizably melodic, and then with the sweetness of Bach on violin. He mows the lawn—not always happily, but he does it. You catch him listening to your favorite bands in his room. He says things that you never thought about before. He grows taller than you.

They say, “You just wait.”

Just wait until he moves away, because your heart will break in two.

And for once, for the very first time ever . . .

They’re right.

Brant Hansen

Morning Show Host, Star 93.3


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10 Comments

  1. Jason on June 20, 2022 at 8:12 am

    Brant,

    Thank you kindly for this writing. The involved Dad is totally relatable to me as I know no greater joy than to be all-in with my children. I have been overwhelmingly blessed with each of their lives, tears roll down my face as I write this. I too know how important it is not to get distracted with our worldly ways, to remain focused on each of them as they will not be with us forever. Lasting memories will abound our children as they grow to remember that Dad was all-in, he was always there, we were more important than that work project that day, he put us first. That is how I would have my children to remember me, there’s always work, but the way we love and nurture our children through our lives will be long lasting and will stay with them throughout their’s. I have been richly blessed as a Dad and as a husband, without each of them I would be lost. God bless you and your family, thank you for all of your inspiration and words of encouragement, keep up the good work, keep looking up, God is always there, waiting on us, just to look up!

    • Brant Hansen on June 20, 2022 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks, Jason! You totally understand where I’m coming from!

  2. Corby Buck on June 20, 2022 at 9:53 am

    Beautiful, just beautiful! I’ve 4 grown daughters, one lives with Jesus and the other 3 are beautiful, wonderful, gifted wives and mothers . It wasn’t always easy but the joy , even through heartache and loss has been the greatest gift God could ever afford me while on this Earth. Aside from Salvation , it has been an honor to be a wife of 44 years and a mother and grandmother of 3 beautiful girls. Thank you sweet man for sharing this message. God bless ❤️🙏🏻

    • Brant Hansen on June 20, 2022 at 7:44 pm

      Thank you, Corby, and congrats on the grandkids, too!

  3. Cheryl York on June 20, 2022 at 10:25 am

    I really appreciate Brant’s perspective. I try to keep up with his Oddcast now that in live in Washington and don’t have a daily drive to hear him on the radio.

    • Brant Hansen on June 20, 2022 at 7:45 pm

      Honored you listen, Cheryl!!

  4. Kim Seibert on June 20, 2022 at 11:22 am

    I loved every single word, but you made me cry at the end. Remembering, because I’ve been there before. The beautiful circle of life..

  5. Jill on June 20, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    As hard as that is, just focus on the fact that you raised 2 remarkable humans, taught them about Jesus, demonstrated His love in your role as their earthly father, giving them the tools they will need on their journey. That’s something to celebrate.🌹

    • Brant Hansen on June 20, 2022 at 7:46 pm

      Absolutely! That’s precisely how I feel about it. Thankful it happened, and excited about what they are doing in the world.

  6. Brant Hansen on June 20, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you, Kim.

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