Steven rolled his tie right up under his chin as the rest of the Primary kids practiced the new song. Nope, no way was he going to sing this song.
The father of our home leads our family …
Steven looked out the window and up at the ceiling. He moved around so much in his chair that he was almost dancing. He couldn’t sing even if he wanted to. Something big and uncomfortable was stuck in his throat. The rest of the Primary kept singing, learning the new words one line at a time.
With wisdom’s light in all that’s right;
My father’s good to me (“Fathers,” Children’s Songbook, 209).
Steven felt a tap on his arm. His mum, who had been quietly watching from the Primary room doorway, tugged gently on his arm. She led him out into the hall. Away from his friends in Primary, Steven couldn’t stop the tears from falling. Mum pulled him close into a warm, strong hug.
“It’s OK to be upset,” Mum said, patting his back. “I know hearing and singing that song is hard.”
Steven nodded, then wiped his eyes. “I don’t want to sing at Father’s Day because I don’t have a dad.” Steven’s eyes burned, and he bit his lip. “I don’t want to call him Dad anymore. I haven’t seen him in ages, and he doesn’t even want to be my dad.”
Steven tried really hard to not cry—but he could still hear the other kids singing. That song just made him hurt deep inside. Just like when his dad wrote and said he and his new wife had decided that he wouldn’t see Steven or his brother anymore.
Mum pulled him in for another hug, and Steven let a few more tears soak into her shirt. “I’ll talk to the Primary president. You don’t have to sing if you don’t want to. But hey—I have an idea.” Mum looked straight into his eyes. “This year we won’t celebrate Father’s Day—we’ll celebrate Future Father’s Day!” She smiled, and he stared back.
“Huh? Celebrate what?”
“Future Father’s Day—we’re going to celebrate how amazing you and your brother are going to be as dads someday. We’ll have presents and a cake and your favorite soft drink!”
Mum kissed his forehead and then tried to fix his mangled tie. “You, Steven, are going to be a brilliant dad—I can tell already. Because you are already thinking about what you are going to do with your kids and planning what kind of dad you’ll be.”
The more Steven thought about it, the bigger his smile grew. He hugged Mum and went back to Primary feeling much better.
Two weeks later Steven stood in front of the mirror, straightening his cool new bow tie. Mum had given it to him that morning for his first ever Future Father’s Day! Steven picked up his scriptures and walked to the front door to head to church.
He smiled at his mum.
“Happy Father’s Day, Mum.”
Mum grinned. “Happy Future Father’s Day, Steven.”