February 27, 2012

We can’t shut her up

The silence doesn’t last long in this house.  Two six-year-olds and their Daddy can cause some serious noise.  So it’s no surprise that GirlyGirl has taken an interest competing for attention.  It started out with some random shrieks and lots of babbling but in the past couple of weeks she’s begun to utter some words.

Now there is some debate within the household of what her first word was.  I claim it was DaDa and she has uttered it while approximating the sign for Daddy.  But she has only said it, admittedly, a few times and doesn’t say it to me every time she sees me.

The kitties, on the other hand, she will talk every single time.  Whenever she sees the quiet Nutmeg or the bold Socks, she gets excited and will say in a loud whisper, “Kit-teh.”  It probably doesn’t hurt that whenever she says this we bring her over to pet the kitty.

The other word she is beginning to say is “done.” She will announce it while nursing, mostly.  But I’m sure we’ll be hearing that word more and more.

As for kitty chasing?  Well, kitty loving is well documented on this blog.  But, I do believe, Swee’Pea has a run for her money.


February 20, 2012

Cancer Sucks

Almost a year ago, I shared with you that my Father-in-Law was fighting cancer. Today, I am sad to say, that Mike passed away.

I am grateful that I was able to see him in early November when he was tired from treatments but not yet beaten. I am saddened that such a great man had to leave us before any of us were ready. I pray that he is at peace and that my mother-in-law is at peace knowing that Mike is no longer in pain and we were all so blessed to have known him.

Thank you, Mike for all that you have done for my family and for me, personally. I will never forget it and I will never forget you.

Rest in Peace, good sir. Rest in peace.

February 14, 2012

Right Beside You Is Where I Belong

Just the other night, as I folded baby clothes on the floor, I was listening to music when our wedding song came on. And while I called you into the room and we had a fleeting dance and laugh, the moment has stuck with me over the past couple of days.

So much has changed since that first dance. If you had asked me that day what 11 years later would look like, there’s no way I could have painted a picture of a family as beautiful as ours. First twins. Then another one. And when I look at the beauty in our children, I am reminded of why I love you so much. You are a wonderful mother. So much so that you make me want to be a better father. Together, we have created something so wonderful and I thank God often that you chose me to go on this journey with.

Happy Valentines, my love. From your husband and your beautiful children.

Chocolate Valentines

February 11, 2012

And when they said come dancing, my sister always did.

You look beautiful. I mean, you always look beautiful, but on this evening, dressed in the gown your grandmother bought you on a whim, you look enchanting. Your mother has helped you with your hair and as dusk turns into evening, we head to your school for your first school dance.

On this night, you have the good fortune of having two wonderful (if I do say so myself) escorts. TheMonk of course, dressed in his finest plaid, and your Daddy. I have chosen slacks, a light green dress shirt and blazer to match. We are the best looking trio at the dance.

And as we enter the dark auditorium, the sparkles from the disco ball and the laser lights bouncing around the room as the bass pumps from a song I only vaguely know, I look to you and your brother to see how you will react. In the not-so-long-ago distance you would cling to me with uncertainty and, perhaps, shed a tear as you’d struggle to overcome your fear in search of having a good time. Try. I’d tell you. And eventually you would.

I expect more of the same on this night but as we enter the dance, you begin to sway and dance to music. We all start to dance, your brother, myself, you and a couple of neighbor friends and it is like you were born to do this. Before long, you are not even next to me as you rush over to dance with friends and I watch you from afar, your flowing white dress silhouetted against the disco lights. You throw your hands up over your head and jump up and down to the beat of the music. You are graceful and light on your feet and your smile lights up the darkness around you.

TheMonk and I dance close by but you are oblivious to us. And as I slowly come to the realization that you are growing up, little girl, my heart swells with pride while, at the same time, I am thankful for the darkness as I blink back the tears of longing. Longing for the days when my little girl needed her Daddy. But proud of the independent and strong girl you are becoming.

Before long, TheMonk joins you too and I am left alone to watch you both while bobbing my head to the beat. Nobody told me fatherhood would be like this. No one tells you that sooner than you think, the blink of an eye, actually, your baby grows up.

But I’ll be right over here if you need me.


February 2, 2012

A Smile Changes Everything

The soft melody of the lullabies hang gently across the darkened room. You are in my arms, snuggled into the my body while I feed you your bottle. Our eyes meet in the dim light emanating from the corner of the room and the gaze lasts exceeding long.

The intensity of the gaze locks me onto your tiny face and as I study the gorgeous speckles in your increasingly hazel eyes, I begin to reflect on my world and all that consumes me. All the clutter that crowds my mind in an almost endless stream comes flooding to the forefront and the all too familiar rush of stress strikes at me from a distance. Complications from work, internal struggles, external stressors – all of these bang against my pysche like beat up drum and I try to keep it from reaching the surface like I have for so long.

Then, just as the emotions are about to spill over, still locking onto your gaze, a slight change happens in the outline of your face. And as I pull my vision back from just your eyes I begin to notice something that makes all the stressors melt away into the darkness of the night. I see your smile.

You smile at me, GirlyGirl, and, all at once, the world seems right. I smile back at you and just the act of smiling – of sharing this moment with my third child – brings me back to what is important and what is not. I lean down and kiss your fleshy cheek and feel the coolness of your skin against mine. It is at this moment that I have some clarity. I have clarity of who I am and what I need to do and it has nothing to do with anyone or anything else.

I breath deeply as I lay you gently in your crib and rub your little back as you drift off to sleep. With every exhale I feel more grounded than I have for a while and I try to make a note of how this feels. It feels good.

I’ve got work to do. But I’m also going to be just fine.

My daughter’s smile told me so.


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