Yesterday the kids and I pulled into our front yard after being away for less than 48 hours and they all started wiggling and squealing with excitement. Someone special was on the other side of our front door and they couldn’t wait to see him. Daddy!
When I married Lenny nine years ago, I imagined he’d be a wonderful father. He was—and still is—a fun-loving, patient, thoughtful, adventurous, energetic guy. I also happened to get a great sneak preview watching him adore his sweet baby nephew (who’s now starting middle school—ack!).
I was right. He is a wonderful father. There’s no end to the ways I see it every day. His willingness to get down on the ground and roll around in a not-so-gentle game of tackle football. Or to throw ball after ball after ball as the boys hit/catch/kick/giggle. His kindness in the morning when the boys have gotten up long before their alarm clock light has given them the ok to come out. His amazing dish washing/house cleaning/toy picking-up skills. His desire to provide the kids with the best of everything—from his time to the latest water toys. The softness that washes over his face when he’s talking to and playing with Pink. Yes, I see it all the time.
But the most heartwarming feeling is seeing our kids—our babies—see it. There’s just something truly special and unique about Daddy.
His deep, but unintimidating voice brings an immediate smile to each of their faces from three rooms away.
The front door opening at dinner time stops whatever game/meal/drama/dancing might be going on and starts a new activity that includes bodies being flung at legs.
As soon as something fascinating happens (like finding a snap pea in the shape of a “C”), Big wants to share it with him. It’s as if it didn’t really happen unless his dad smiles upon it with him. (We do a lot of picture emailing around here.)
When Little wants to prove he’s no longer a baby, but a big boy, he runs to Daddy and soaks up some guy time and attention. By the time Little makes his way back to me, he’s standing a bit taller and smiling a bit easier.
Pink, well, I’m not sure how to describe it, but there’s no doubt she’s a Daddy’s girl. Not only does she love snuggling up in his strong arms, she loves the way he makes her laugh (which often involves those same strong arms making her fly, jump, swing). Just being near him brings a sparkle to her eyes.
The kids seek out time with Lenny, not only to be loved, but to be challenged. He takes them new places, teaches them new skills, forces them out of their comfort zones and, in the process, they grow. They grow in intellect, ability and confidence. But most importantly, they grow in spirit.
Yes, my babies’ daddy has given each of them a light that they will carry with them wherever life takes them through the years. And for that, among so many other reasons, I will always love him. And I know they will too.
Happy Father’s Day, Lenny! And Happy Father’s Day to all the other dads out there who are shaping other little lives in wonderful ways!
What do you and your kids love about your babies’ daddy?
This post is sponsored by Disney Baby in anticipation of the work I’ll be doing as part of the Disney Baby blogging team—which kicks off at the beginning of July. I look forward to sharing these kinds of stories (projects/ideas/etc) with you over there too!