Thankful I get to be Dad to 5 great children

Published 8:25 am Thursday, February 9, 2017

I love to tell stories about my children. For almost 23 years now they have been the topic of conversation whenever possible.

Well, you could probably add a few months before that, too, because I was probably talking in anticipation of my first child being born.

My 15-year-old daughter, Britain, has never had a problem speaking her mind. Or just talking, in general.

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A couple of years ago, I ran across a note I had stuck in a book that documented an encounter with Britain when she was about 6 years old. I had met her in the hallway outside my bedroom and she asked, “What made you think that shirt would look good with that?” “What?” I asked. “What made me think this shirt would look good with what?” “You,” she deadpanned. Ouch.

When I found the note, I called her and read it to her. She laughed and said, “That was mean. Sorry.” Then she quickly added, “Well, maybe it was an ugly shirt.” Nice save.

When my 22-year-old son Tobie was 4 or so, he had a problem with two words: kitchen and chicken. He said them both the same way.

“Tobie, what’s your mom doing?” “She’s making chicken,” he’d say. Where is she making chicken? “In the chicken.” So, she’s making chicken in the chicken? “Yes.” Simple, right?

My 20-year-old son Devon was an entrepreneur. I discovered his absence one day when he was about 8, and rushed around looking for him. I found him standing out at the end of our long driveway, talking to a woman I did not know sitting in her car on the road.

I hurried out to them and the woman smiled at me and said, “He’s quite the salesman,” and drove off. Devon was holding a box of rocks and had been sitting in a folding chair he’d brought out from the carport. I asked him what he was doing. “Selling rocks,” he said.

He’d gathered a box full from the gravel driveway and had made a few bucks already flagging down cars as they passed. I didn’t know whether to make him go inside or tell him to keep it up.

Emma, my 12-year-old, has always been the one who looks so innocent but can be very devious. And get away with it.

When Emma was about 5, she went on a church trip with the youth and her mother. When the group was leaving a restaurant, Devon was the first one out and back to the church van. Emma ran out after him, went straight up to him and kicked him so hard in the shin that he went down in pain on the pavement.

When everyone else came out and asked what happened, Devon blamed the cute little girl standing all innocently by the van door. Emma shrugged her shoulders and no one believed her poor brother.

Jessica is my other 22-year-old, and although I haven’t known her for her whole life she is most definitely my daughter. I married her mom just a couple of years ago, and though I’m not her biological father, I am Jessy’s dad.

I don’t have all the cute little stories of her as a baby or toddler getting into stuff. But she’s just a big kid now, so I’m getting a lot of that time with her. I enjoy watching movies with her and laughing with her over ridiculous social media posts. We enjoy some of the same music, oddly enough.

I have five wonderful children, and I’m very grateful to be their dad. A friend of mine told me once that she knew I loved Jesus and my children, because every time I talked about either, my face lit up and I sounded excited when I talked about them. That’s high praise.

As I prayed with each of my kids when they were little, I thanked God that he loved them so much and that he let me be their dad. I still thank God for the same things.

Brett Campbell is news editor and can be reached at