This is What Daddy Does—and It’s Crazy Beautiful

Please can we do the dance party?”

Heidi had been begging all night. We were finishing Christmas cards, the kids and me in an assembly line of cutting and gluing and licking and sticking. We’d just finished, it was late; we still needed to do bath and snack.

“Can we please do Joy to the World?”

For several years it was simply, “The whistle song.”  We’ve been playing it as long as they can remember, and as soon as they hear the familiar whistle, they jump from their seats and begin dancing. It’s remarkable to me that treasured holiday traditions can be as simple as the same song, a melodic thread through all the years.

We didn’t say a word, but Jeff slid out his phone. Within seconds, the familiar whistle filled the air.


The kids went wild. Gyrating, jumping up and down, kicking and pumping their arms. I’m not sure any of it could be called dancing, but it’s what we do. I pull out some Jazzercise moves and spin circles with Heidi, but Jeff goes so over-the-top in his dance flailing that we can’t keep from falling down, laughing. At some point the kids wander off to get props, and Jeff, who had pulled his hood over his face to add to the comedic effect, was unknowingly left, dancing all alone. I was laughing so hard I could barely breath, but I had to capture this pic, because, it struck me, this is what Daddy does.


Daddy doesn’t love to dance. Daddy could think of a thousand other things he needs to do on a Thursday night, other than have a Joy to the World dance party with his kids. Daddy could insist on keeping his cool, but no — Daddy busts a move like nobody’s business and lights up their eyes–and life–like no one else can.

Daddy’s are crazy, over-the-top like that.

And then, that Saturday, he’s home. And after completing my honey-do list, he comes with us to the park. And he plays hide-and-seek so stealthily that he switches hiding spots nearly a dozen times and has Dutch thinking he’s lost his mind. Nearly twenty minutes later, when he finally emerges, Dutch is so excited at the thrill of the hunt, he can hardly contain himself.

Daddy goes all out for his kids.


And then we settle down and swing, and Daddy pushes them, willing to endure the endless “higher!” and “not that high!” And then, when a child is getting squirrelly, and is asked to settle down, and that child doesn’t listen and goes barreling down the paved hill wearing bulky boots, and when that child trips and crashes headlong into the jagged asphalt, a scraped and bloody heap of tears, that Daddy doesn’t say, “I told you…”

That Daddy leans down low and gathers up his boy. Pulls him carefully into his arms.

“Oh buddy, I’m so sorry. That was bad. Where does it hurt?”

And he lets the sobbing boy put his strewn treasures — sticks and rocks — into his big jacket pockets, and lifts his son into his arms, and carries everything home.


He always carries us home.

Even when He warns us of the way and we don’t listen. Even when we fall headlong because He knew we would.

He still picks us up and carries us home.

Why do I ever doubt the love of my Father?

This is what Daddy does, and so much more.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”

1 John 3:1

{Oh! That we would know the extravagant love of the Father for us. Praying we do, more and more, this week. Thank you for reading.}

This post originally appeared at

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Kari Patterson
Kari Patterson is a beloved daughter of God, and her life's aim is to please her Father. She is married to Pastor Jeff, and together they raise two quirky kiddos and lead a Christ-centered community of believers called Renew Church. She holds a Master's degree in Pastoral Studies from Multnomah Seminary, speaks at women's conferences, and writes at Her ebooks are available on, and her new book, Sacred Mundane: Let your days transform your lives, will be released in Fall 2017.