Award-winning author, L.R.Knost

An Ordinary Man

Have you ever had a vehicle break down? Have you sat on the side of the road frantically making unanswered phone calls and wondering what you, a female alone with little children in a useless car, were going to do? Have you had that one man pull over and walk up to your car, motioning with a work-worn hand and a tired, reassuring smile to pop the hood so he can take a look at your engine? Have you sat in your locked car, grateful but too nervous to get out, and watched him through that little space between the open hood and dashboard as he rummaged around in your steaming engine, burning his arms time and again while he checked out the mysterious hoses and pipes and wires? Have you met his eyes when he glanced up and nodded, telling you to give it a try, only to gasp in relief when your car sprung to beautiful, magical life? Have you rolled down your window half an inch to offer him a few dollars, but been turned down with a weary smile and wave good-bye as he headed back to his own vehicle, his own life, his own family?

That man was my husband.

Have you ever stood in line at the grocery store, irritated because they only had one lane open and the lady checking out with what seemed like fifty tired, whiney, crying children was counting out actual cash, including change, instead of using a quick credit card like normal people?  Have you rolled your eyes at the person in front of you and grimaced as the woman came up short and then, with eyes kept lowered in obvious embarrassment, began counting the money all over again, like it was somehow going to add up differently the second time around? Have you felt your blood pressure rising, thinking of the television show you were DVR’ing and the hot meal you were heading home to prepare if this woman would ever just put back the milk or the bread or whatever and just get out of the way already? Have you raised your eyebrows in surprise and maybe a slight bit of chagrin when a burly man in construction boots stepped out from behind you, walked forward, and quietly paid the difference, shrugging off any thanks from the relieved mother with an understanding grin and then headed back to his place in line?

That man was my husband.

My husband is a hero. Maybe not the Superman kind of hero or the war veteran kind, but to that stranded motorist, to that struggling mother, he’s a hero of the best kind. He’s the kind of hero who is there in the moment of need with a calloused set of hands always ready to help, a quiet, friendly grin always ready to reassure, and a servant’s heart always ready to shrug off thanks or reward. He’s the kind of hero John Wayne played in his famous westerns…clear-eyed honesty, strength of character, courageous compassion…only in a real-life, flesh-and-blood man of honor, decency, and integrity.

Now, while my husband has played out these scenes and others like them time and again, it is obviously not only him performing these acts of kindness throughout the world on long, lonely stretches of roads and brightly lit grocery stores. It is, instead, the ordinary man who sets up the children’s church room Sunday mornings or who you see mowing your elderly neighbor’s yard or who shows up at your house unasked after a summer storm, chainsaw in hand and ready to work.

It is my husband and ordinary men like him who work tirelessly to provide for their families so their wives can stay home and nurture their children. It is these ordinary men whose strength, loyalty, and dedication define the ideal of fatherhood as it should be. And it is these men, these ordinary heroes like my burly, tender, bear-of-a-husband, who I celebrate this Father’s Day.

{Disclaimer: Yes, working mothers can and do practice gentle parenting successfully, and, yes, sometimes daddies stay home, too. And some women are awesome mechanics. This article’s focus is to honor my husband and others like him, not to cause a debate. So please read and respond to it in that light. Thank you and Happy Father’s Day!)

Check out the bicycle built for three my amazing ‘ordinary’ hero made for me!









My Amazing Hubby & the Incredible Bicycle Transformation!


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Award-winnning author, L.R.Knost, is the founder and director of the children's rights advocacy and family consulting group, Little Hearts/Gentle Parenting Resources, and Editor-in-Chief of Holistic Parenting Magazine. Books by L.R.Knost include Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood ; Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages ; The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline ; and Jesus, the Gentle Parent: Gentle Christian Parenting the first four books in the Little Hearts Handbook gentle parenting series, and children’s picture books Petey’s Listening Ears and the soon-to-be-released Grumpykins series.

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