June 17, 2007
On Father's Day I think about my Dad and the Dad of my kids.
When my mom was dating, many many years ago, I would meet her boyfriends (my would-be Dads) and decide almost immediately whether or not I liked them.
There are two scenes in particular that come to mind. One of them offered me some crazy straws and I accepted but was like: "Oh, you think a crazy straw is going to buy my love huh?" (I was 6).
The other scene was with a different man and he brought us fruit. I had never seen kiwi before and I asked for some and he said in a would-be Dad voice: SAY PLEASE! And I was like: "uh-uh...you do NOT tell me to say PLEASE you are NOT my Daddy." (also age 6)
I also remember jumping on my bed and carrying on in my room while my mother had a date over in the next room.
But when I met my future Dad, he was different. He respected me for who I was, he talked to me on my level. He didn't push me into loving him or being his daughter. I called him by his first name for a while, until I was ready to call him Dad. He was patient, long-suffering and always loving, and continues to be to this day. I am glad that we all hung in there for those short dating years to get JUST the right fit.
It is a joy in my life to see my Dad (their PAPA) with my girls. They love him very much, so the tradition of good fathering continues.
It is a most magnificent joy to see my husband with my daughters. If everything else in my life was stripped away, the excitement, colors, music, spontaneity, laughter, art, ability, fortune, fame, books, ice cream, anthropologie, city life, I would be sustained by watching my husband and my daughters.
The sound of "Daddy!" when they hear his keys on the other side of the door.
The careful planning of Father's Day/Christmas/Birthday gifts.
The "How do you spell Dad?" as a special picture is being drawn.
The "HUG! HUG! HUG! HUG!" demands.
The "bless Daddy's" in a little girl's prayer.
The straining arms: "HOLD YOU!" demands of a tired toddler.
The way he whispers to them at night when I have had enough.
The way he holds their hands, swings them up on his shoulders, and pushes them on the swing.
The outfits he gathers.
The breakfast he makes.
The songs he sings.
The tears I weep as I watch it with more gratitude than I can express.
I say to my daughters: Your welcome for such a wonderful Dad, because I know someday they will Thank me with their own tears in their eyes.