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A couple of weeks ago I piled the kids in the van and drove to the mall where we were meeting daddy after work. Surprisingly, my husband beat us there and was waiting in a furniture store streched out in a recliner (not surprising), two exhales away from counting sheep.

When our kids turned the corner and spied the tips of his shoes on the end of the footrest, they started sprinting. The sound of this weighty stampede prompted daddy to spring from the chair and gather them up in his arms.

It actually was a moving moment to stand back and observe pure joy. To hear their laughter; to see smiles spanning cheek to cheek; to see all three kids climbing up his legs as though he were an Oak.

The employee who was helping us looked a bit mystified. “Has he been out of town or something?” she chuckled.

I smiled, rejoicing in my heart at the love on display amongst recliners and occasional chairs and area rugs. “No,” I answered. “They just haven’t seen their dad yet today.”

The Difference a Hug (or 8 or 10) Makes

I started to wonder: What difference would it make — how many lives could be turned around — if they were shown this kind of love every day? If they experienced the kind of love that makes onlookers think you’ve just returned from vacation?

Why Dad Deserves A Hero’s Welcome Everyday

Some might scoff that lining up to welcome dad with fanfare and abandon is muddled in gender roles. That it’s passé. That it reeks of June Cleaver. But what I saw in the face of that mall employee was nearly wistful. Nearly longing. Hinting at a desire for the same. And it made me think that welcoming dad with abandon sends a powerful message:

  1. IT REMINDS DAD THAT HE IS APPRECIATED: In a world where men sometimes wonder whether they make a difference or whether their families even care that they’ve been gone all day, a hero’s welcome sends the message loud and clear: WE CARE!
  2. IT SHOWERS HIM IN UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: What? You didn’t make the sale? You had to fire someone? You dealt with crabby customers? We don’t care!! We love you anyway? You’re still a hero to us!
  3. IT DRAWS A CURTAIN OF PROTECTION AROUND THE DAY: Our husbands, especially those who are sole providers for their families, endure extraordinary stress to make ends meet and make sure that their families have needs (and maybe a few wants) supplied. Welcoming them with a parade of love lets them put their guards down and relax. It allows them to officially “end” their day and close the door on the trials and challenges in the office.

Try this for a week! Go overboard with your grandiose love and affection — and report back. I guarantee your husband (and their daddy) will never feel so treasured.