Trevor loved playing basketball with Dad after work. Dad would always shoot crazy shots—sometimes they even went in.
But tonight, Dad wasn’t ready to play yet. He was helping Mom finish setting the table and pouring drinks for Trevor and his brothers.
“Hey, Dad,” Trevor said. “Want to shoot some hoops?”
“Sure, Son,” Dad said. “But let’s eat dinner first.”
When the family sat down to dinner, Dad said the blessing on the food. Then he asked Trevor and his brothers what they did during the day. Trevor talked about playing on the monkey bars. His younger brothers played in the sandbox and drew pictures.
“What did you do to serve someone today?” Dad asked. He always asked that.
Trevor was ready to answer. “I helped Mom fold the laundry.”
“Good,” Dad said. “I’m proud of you.”
After dinner Trevor popped up from the table and pulled on Dad’s arm.
“Dad, can we go shoot hoops now?” Trevor asked.
“In just a few minutes, Trevor,” Dad said. “First we need to clean up. It wouldn’t be fair to make Mom do all the cooking and cleaning, would it?”
Trevor helped load the dishwasher. Then he grabbed a paper towel and wiped off the table.
“Now can we shoot hoops?” he asked.
“Yes,” Dad said. “Thanks for your help.”
After shooting the ball and playing a few games of H-O-R-S-E, Dad tossed the ball to Trevor.
“Let’s play again,” Trevor said.
“Sorry, buddy,” Dad said. “I have a meeting at church.”
“But we just started playing!” Trevor said. “Do you have to go?” Sometimes he couldn’t understand why Dad had to go to so many meetings.
“Sorry, but I really do,” Dad said. He gave Trevor a squeeze. “Help your mom while I’m gone. I’ll try to be home before you get in bed.”
When bedtime came, Dad still wasn’t home yet.
Trevor frowned. “Mom, why does Dad have so many meetings?” he asked.
“Let me ask you a question,” Mom said. “What does Dad ask you and your brothers every day at dinner?”
“I know, I know,” Trevor answered. “What did you do to serve someone today?”
“Service is very important to Dad,” Mom said. “He’s been called to serve in our ward, and he wants to do his best.”
Trevor thought about how Dad always encouraged him and his brothers to do their best.
“Do you know what else?” Mom asked. “Dad is always looking for ways to serve us.”
“He is?” Trevor asked.
“Just think about it,” Mom said. “After a long day at work, the first thing he did today was help set the table. Then after dinner, he let me rest while he cleaned up. Then he played basketball with you even though he only had a few minutes before his meeting.”
Trevor thought for a minute. He was glad Dad went outside and played with him instead of relaxing.
“I know it can be hard when Dad is so busy,” Mom said. “But he does his best to help everyone around him.”
Mom tucked Trevor into bed and left the room. A few minutes later, Trevor’s door creaked open.
“I hope I didn’t wake you,” Dad said. “I just wanted to say good night.”
Trevor stood up on his bed and gave Dad a big hug.
“Good night, Dad,” Trevor said. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Dad said.
Trevor was glad Dad said it, but he already knew Dad loved him. Dad showed it every day.
Illustration by Mark Robison