My Dad and his wife Kathy (Gigi to the kids) came for a brief visit in June. The visits though nice are always too short. Although my Dad is retired, Kathy is still working and between caring for her parents, my Dad's Mom and also squeezing in visits to all their grandchildren - they just don't have tons of vacation time. We take what we can get and the kids always enjoy spending time with both of them. Because Melissa and I are separated by a good ole' 30 minute drive, we try to do joint functions when they are here visiting so that they can get as much time with us and the kids as possible. Our kids, of course jump at any chance to be together so it works out well.
I don't have a ton of childhood memories of moments with my Mom or Dad..they kind of trickle in here and there and sometimes a new one will come to me out of the blue. According to a therapist that I met with some after my parents separated, once you are emotionally traumatized by something like a divorce...you can experience some memory loss and I would say that has been pretty accurate for me. My older sisters seem to remember TONS more about how Mom and Dad were and what our growing up years were like. I listen real hard when we are together and old things come up in conversation, because for me - there's just not much I remember. Some things I do remember about Dad in particular:
~he brushed my hair sometimes when I got out of the bath and I remember liking the way he brushed my hair (random, I know but it's a memory I have)
~he liked to see us have a good time whether that was wrestling with us, turning "garage door riding" into a sport or running around letting us ride on the car trailer...the man can turn anything...any object into some kind of ride/toy for entertainment and he still does all of the above with our kids and it's part of why they love him so.
~he was incredibly proud of my ability on the soccer field and not only let me know, it but others too and after games when I was slap wore out he would sit me on the end of a seat/tailgate and take my cleats, socks and shin guards off for me and now as a parent I realize that was a selfless act and it stuck with me...sometimes when I'm weary but I'm washing my kids faces or brushing their teeth or combing their hair I realize that now it doesn't mean much but one day it might.
~he and Mom both worked REALLY hard and he has always taken pride in his work. He takes the whole "do it right the first time" to a whole new epic level and it has transferred to my sisters and I. Although at times it can be a frustrating characteristic, it is also one that makes us incredibly dependable and trustworthy people and I'm thankful for that.
~He doesn't really meet a stranger. He'll talk to someone at the gas station or a drive through or anywhere really like he's known them for years....it's been that way for as long as I can remember. I find it endearing and I would say both myself and my middle child have a smidge of that outgoing nature ;).
In light of June being Father's Day month I just want to capture these things...these memories that endear me to him. It's fun now getting to see the things that endear my kids to him...
For Father's Day at our house, the girls and I planned to cook a big country breakfast for Tim. It's no secret....Tim likes to eat and you know what they say: "the way to a man's heart". Kennedy wanted to participate in the breakfast preparations, even if it meant I had to wake her up. I did have to wake her up, but she was so excited to be doing something special for Daddy that she didn't care. Here are my helpers rolling and cutting out biscuits.
Cooking up some sausage.
I can't recall everything that was on the menu, but I think we had biscuits, sausage, eggs, bacon, cheesy grits, pineapple, coffee and juice. I think I'm safe in saying he was excited and enjoyed every bite. Yum!
Before we left for church I wanted to get some pictures of the kids and their Daddy on Father's Day. It's always a challenge to get three kids smiling/looking in the right direction, but I think we got some cute ones.
Oh, when I try to find the words to describe this man....to tell him how much he means to us as "Daddy" it just feels impossible. The road we've walked together has not always been easy but it does get easier to walk together if that makes sense. Becoming Mom and Dad rather than just Husband and Wife...it makes things more complex, you know? I love a lot of things about Tim, but the way he is with my kids - it beats ALL. He plays with them, snuggles them, is proud of them, encourages them, teaches them, is patient with them, prays for them, is selfless with them but mostly he's THERE...he prioritizes them...listening to them and being the best Dad he knows how to be. I cannot imagine a better man for them to call Daddy and I'm incredibly grateful that God paired us and then gifted us with these little people - they have given us purpose beyond imagination and they've given us a drive to be the best team we can be for them and I'm thankful for that.
We love you Tim!
To wrap this Daddy post up, I want to talk about a man I wasn't born a daughter to, but by marriage have become one to. Tim is a blend of his Mom and Dad and I get to know them more and more as the years go by which helps to understand their son as well. I still feel like I have so much to learn - distance and work life separates us from them, but I hope that is not always the case. It likely won't shock anyone when I share that Tim comes from an incredibly quiet home (opposites attract, right?). When we were dating and engaged I often wondered "what do they think of me...of us...we are such different people"? I'll never forget something his Dad said on the night of our rehearsal dinner. Speaking to me, he shared with me that he and Tim's Mom had been praying for me for years. He explained that he didn't know it was me they were praying for but that they were praying for whoever God had for their son. Wow. I can't explain what that has meant. I've thought about that statement in good times and in bad times...it reassures me to know that this relationship was prayed over before it ever existed and I'm thankful that his Dad felt that a priority while Tim was growing up. I want to one day be able to say the same to each of my children's spouses. Speaking of prayer, prayer is something Tim's Dad does for us often. He has prayed for us before meals, before travel, while bringing children into this world and after...each prayer so personal, so heartfelt...it can't be explained but it's something I treasure and appreciate and just love. Tim and I pray with our kids on a regular basis now but I hope we always, always pray with them...when they struggle, when their questioning, when they are thankful, when they are married, when they have kids, etc. I'm thankful for the example we're being shown...it will inevitably leave a legacy...it's already leaving an impression.
I love you three men and I'm grateful for what you've been and what you'll be. I hope you each felt honored this Father's Day!