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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Calling Courageous Dads...

When I was seven, my dad suddenly stopped taking me to the park.
These were our weekly father-son afternoons, and there was no stress. It was all about throwing a ball or a Frisbee, or playing with his latest guard dog.
Da could have thrown a sharp stick in my eye and I honestly wouldn’t have cared.
I just loved being my father’s center of attention – if only for a few hours a week.
And when he stopped taking me to the park, he simply said it was because he didn’t “have the time.”
I wrote about this recently, but I can’t remember whose blog or when exactly I posted the comment.
However, I can remember the exact moment, thirty-six years ago, when my father told me I sucked.
My point: I'm throwing a huge shout out to all the dads who’ve yet to see Courageous. (Future dads and dads-to-be are included… y’all will be so far ahead of the curve if you watch this:)
I’ve never done a movie review in my life, so bear with me, and, hey moms, don’t dare click off, this is something that can change your husband and family – for the better.
Courageous is a Christian, family-based movie with some amazing writing (I never knew I could laugh twenty seconds after bawling my heart out - but it's true.)
Please click the link above to discover more, but the simple premise concerns five dads who decide to become Dads after a tragic event causes one to reevaluate his life and his role in the family unit.
I wasn’t going to post anything about the movie for two reasons – it’s a recent release, but not new, and it’s 3:22 in the a.m.
However, as I went to shut down the computer, this picture of No. 1 Son was my screen saver – and I couldn’t help but take a moment.
This was taken this past Sunday (on the occasion of his riding his new bike for the first time.)
Obviously I am super-biased, but this picture shows hope and growth – my four-year-old boy is riding his first bike ( I can always Photoshop the training wheels.)
Will you be there if I fall, Papa?
Then I looked into his beautiful brown eyes, which is what got me typing.
He’s worried, nervous, and I know two seconds after this picture was taken, he came to a complete stop and said “Help me.”

I did, but dads, are you there for your kids - I mean REALLY there?

Please note, I ain’t judging anyone. Trust me, I’ve messed up more than enough chapters to write a book, but it would never sell – the main character was shallow and a complete knob-head.
Anyway, the first time I watched Courageous was a couple of months ago when our church put on a special screening… it was hilarious listening to a bunch of men – mostly strangers – sniffling and crying quietly in the dark –  all of us worried lest our ManCards be invalidated.
Tonight I watched Courageous for the second time, so like, I knew what was going to happen… and this time I bawled my heart out... even more like a little baby.
What’s up with that?
Partly, it’s because I was sat next to my wife and No. 1 Son and if you have seen the movie, well, you’ll know the part that got to me.
If you haven’t watched this movie, and you’re a dad (or married to one) please consider  buying/renting Courageous and looking into its Resolution.
Sorry, I know this post sucked as a “movie review,” but there is one thing I can promise: My three boys will never be told I’m too bored/busy/bothered to go to the park.
That’s my resolution – what’s yours?


K.T. Hanna said...

I work as a Human Resources Manager. The amount of child supports I have is amazing.
The amount of people I've had 'quit' or suddenly become ill about 2 days before I get their child support order - is pathetic.

For reference: child support orders get sent to the father shortly before their workplace receives them. They're notified about it before me. So many times I come into work on a Monday to find so and so quit/will be off work injured for x months (with an injury they've never claimed from 1 year ago or something). And the next day - I get their child support garnishment.

The first time this happened I gave the father the benefit of the doubt. But I've seen this about eight times now.

Children are a responsibility, and something you've created. You should love them regardless of whether or not you still love your partner. It's not their fault.

Sorry for the rant. But in my book, you're a great dad.

Leigh Covington said...

Your post has me all teary-eyed and is probably one of the best reviews I've heard, because it's more than just a review. I haven't even heard of this movie, so I am glad you've shared it with us. I'm going to find out where I can rent it right NOW! Thanks Mark! I can tell you're an amazing father.

Emily R. King said...

Our kids should know they are more important than anything else! Yes, we're busy as parents, but we should never be too busy too long for them.
Great review! I'm going to add this movie to my Netflix queue.

Tony Van Helsing said...

A very human review without trying to sound clever. Heartfelt.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A group from our church went to see Courageous. I haven't seen it yet, although we did watch Fireproof.

Mark Koopmans said...

@ K.T: Thanks for what you do for the little ones who can't speak up for themselves - and those eight "men" will one day have to stand and be judged.

@ Leigh: Thanks :)Courageous is one of four movies so far made by Sherwood Pictures. "Fireproof" (see Alex's comment below) is one, as is "Facing the Giants."

@ Emily: Thanks and remember to have a *big* box of Kleenex handy!

@ Tony: Cheers, pal. Appreciate the kind words.

@ Alex: You are going to *love* it when you do. It's two hours + of amazing :)

Lillie McFerrin said...

Great post as always!

I have left you some awards on my blog!!

Lara Schiffbauer said...

I love this post - and I think it's applicable to women as well as men. When we have kids, it's not like getting a new puppy. The responsiblity to raise and love a child is HUGE. In todays society where we all are working, and trying to make ends meet, it's easy for anyone - male or female - to start saying "later." Trying to write, work full time and then do housework, etc... I found I was doing just that, and I didn't like it. I made a goal (it's on my Life List) that I would spend 30min. a day playing with my kids. It's the goal that I make sure to have happen. It's the goal I enjoy meeting the most. And the 30 minutes means the world to them. Good post, Mark.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Both my parents worked and I did feel their absence when I was a kid. I think that's why I chose to stay home when I had my son and just be there for him every day.

Dreadnaught said...

Great review followed

Mark Koopmans said...

@ Lillie: Wow, super thanks and I've already grabbed a couple to share this Friday:)

@ Lara: You are right, this *is applicable to Moms, too, (I was all fired up for the Dads, sorry Moms :)

@ L.G. Thanks for sharing and good for you (and your son:)

@ Dreadnaught: Cheers, mate:)

Nancy Thompson said...

Aw, that's such a sweet post. I'm so sorry to hear about what your Da did to you. No child should have to experience that. But because you have turned into a remarkable man, you're also a remarkable father. Your Da taught you a hard lesson, one I'm sure you will not have to teach your own son.

My own father was just a breadwinner. He wasn't really there for me, but then again, he never damaged me either. But I married a man much like you, one who was affected by his own father but who evolved into an amazing man and daddy. Our son is 17 and just about ready to fly the nest, and his dad is almost heartbroken at the thought. But he knows now that he's taught our son life's equivalent to riding a bike, that it's time to let go so he can ride into the sunset. Being a dad is tough. But rewarding when you do it right!

Jerry said...

Nice post amigo...you are a great dad for sure Mark!

Morgan said...

Ohhhhh... So touching... Thanks so much for sharing... :)

Ara Grigorian said...

Mark, I am honored to say it was on my blog that you mentioned the park. You may consider doing more movie reviews... this one made want to find the movie ASAP :)

Anonymous said...

Great review and this definitely touched my emotions. Kids should never be cast aside and time should be made for them.

Jocelyn Rish said...

I've heard good things about this movie. Maybe I'll watch it with my dad. He was in the Navy (subs), so he missed a lot of my big moments growing up. I was heartbroken when he missed my high school graduation. Luckily, now that he's retired, we've gotten to spend time getting to know each other as adults.

Suze said...

You're 'good people,' Mark -- darn good people. Mind if I take a pair of scissors and remove 'sucked' from your vocabulary.

This review was all it needed to be and more.

Take care.

Mark Koopmans said...

@ Nancy; Jerry; Morgan; Ara; Medeia; Jocelyn and Suze: I responded to each of you individually - *thank you* for each and every kind word and comment.

I feel humbled... I *really* thought this was a horrible attempt at a movie review :)

Anonymous said...

We got this movie from my brother in law, who is a police officer.

It's a great movie. my favorite part is when Javier is in the car pretending to be the SNAKE KING and freaking out the 'real' criminal!

If you always strive to be there for your kids, no matter what, you will succeed at being a father, and I know that you are all ready doing a great job.

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