April 24, 2010

The Best Things in Fatherhood are Unplanned

When you first learn you are becoming a father, certain things run through your mind. First and foremost you think, “HOLY CRAP!” But after that, many other things run through your thoroughly frenzied mind that include playing catch with your son, waiting up late for your daughter, paying for college, and having someone to bring you cold drinks on a hot summer’s day.

But there are also some things you don’t think about. For some reasons, no one thinks of the toys you step on in the dark, kids wiping boogers on your pants, Taylor Swift or screaming for no apparent reason. Unless, of course, you’re screaming because of Taylor Swift.

But there are also things you don’t think about that end up being a total bonus to being a Dad. Never in a million years do you think of these things prior to having a kid or, even, right up to the moment they occur. Instead, every once in a while fatherhood hands you something so funny and awesome that when it happens, the only thing you can do is giggle. And,of course, take a picture.

Swee'Pea giving me the finger
Swee’Pea showing me her “owie.”

April 21, 2010

Swee’Pea Vs. Bunny Ears

She sits with her feet inches from her face. The shoes that adorn her feet are sparkly and slightly larger than they should be. The laces are long and black and rest gently in her hand as she attempts to tie her shoes. I watch as she crosses the laces and begins to tie the first beginning knot. Already, I can tell she is not crossing it right and as she struggles to make the knot, I offer my assistance.

“Do you need help, Swee’Pea?” I ask.

“NO!” she says says loudly and firmly.

This is a tone that has played itself out many times dating back when she was 18 months old. I know better than to interrupt her intensity. I do, I know better. But I just can’t help it.

Swee’Pea tries again and, once again, she misses the first knot. She is now more than a little agitated.

“Swee,Pea,” I say. “Let me help you.”

“NO! I… Can… Do… it.” she says as she begins to force the laces together as if just pushing them together will result the perfect bow.

“But, Swee’Pea…” I begin.

“I… Don’t… Need… Your… Help… DAD…DY…” She stammers out.

“But…” I say, “It… kinda looks like… you do.”

And as I finish that sentence my words fade away into nothing as her eyes look up from the task at hand to meet mine. No words are exchanged but I can tell from her look that if I say one more thing, she’s going to shove that shoe lace straight up my nose. I decide to keep quiet.

After a few more tries and a few more *sighs* and *grunts*, however, she finally masters the bow and her shoe is nicely tied.

It’s at this point, after several minutes of fury and anger, she looks up at me and gives me the most angelic smile in history.

I pity her future husband.

April 18, 2010

TheMonk and Bunny Ears

He sits on the floor, one knee tucked under his chin, his gaze fixed intently on the camouflaged shoe on his left foot. The laces lie in his stubby little fingers as he carefully forms a loop with lace in his left hand. He’s talking to himself and I slowly inch closer to make out his words. As I get closer I hear him whispering to himself…

“Make a bunny ear. Go around the bunny ear. Push it through the hole. Pull both bunny ears tight…”

I watch as he struggles to pull it tight. This is the part that has troubled him since he started learning to tie his shoes five days earlier. But this time, rather than pull straight out, he pulls down and the bow tightens neatly in his grasp. At last, he has done it and he whips his head up with a grin brighter than the sun and exclaims, “DADDY! I DID IT! I TIED MY SHOE!!”

We make eye contact and my own smile matches his in his moment of accomplishment. And while we exchange high fives and I steal a kiss, I can’t help but wonder when the next milestone will be and how it will be another reminder that my baby boy is growing up. Too fast.

April 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday – Family

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April 9, 2010

A Continent Away

His voice is high-pitched over the phone. As I hold my cell phone to my ear in the silence of my hotel room 2,388 miles from home, TheMonk talks to me while he makes car noises and playing with whatever car is in front of him. He is multi-tasking nicely – a skill that will certainly serve him well over the years.

But today I notice that his voice sounds different. He seems more articulate than when I left three days ago. He tells me about his day (which, apparently, wasn’t all that exciting) and I’m wondering if it is possible that he’s grown so much in verbal skills since I left. But then, without warning, he tells me, “Daddy, I miss you. Daddy, I love you.”

And my heart melts as his little four-year-old voice pierces my soul and I’m left sighing on my bed in some hotel room 2,388 miles away from where I’d rather be. And while I’m enjoying my conference and learning so much, I am painfully reminded that home is where the heart is. And right now my heart is with a little boy who misses his Daddy.

I miss you too, Monkey. I love you too.

Daddy’s coming home.

April 2, 2010

Apparently there ARE stupid questions

I unlock the front door after another day at work and Swee’Pea and TheMonk notice my arrival from the other room. “DAAAADDDDYYYY!!!!” they scream as they barrel towards me like out of control bowling balls. I quickly set my stuff down and get down on my knees to accept the avalanche of love I’m about to receive.

After receiving my hugs and kisses (and doling out a good amount of my own), I begin to talk to Swee’Pea and TheMonk about their day. On this day, Swee’Pea had to go to preschool on her own in the morning as TheMonk had a doctor’s appointment so he could have his stuffed-up ear looked at.

Swee’Pea tells me that TheMonk missed chapel that morning at preschool.

“He did?” I ask. “Did you like chapel?”

“Yes.” replies Swee’Pea.

“Well, what was chapel about?” I inquire.

*Sigh* “It was about Jesus, Daddy. It’s always about Jesus.”

I swear I saw her roll her eyes.


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