My husband is a wonderful father. He has spent a lot of time and effort building a strong relationship with our son, and I think it has paid off in a great, self-secure young man. I love how they talk with one another (even when it's about stuff that is so boring to me that my eyes roll back into my head), and I really love how they can both tease each other, and take the teasing.
I have to admit that there have been times when I've been a little jealous about their "boy club" (I will probably never think fart jokes are funny), but I've always known that the friendship they have would be important in helping Simon become a strong man. I am very thankful for my husband's fathering gifts. I love you, Mike.
My grandfather, whom I called Pop-pop, was a light in my life. He's been gone for many years now (20?), but I still think of him all the time. I remember singing with him, listening to him play the organ, and knowing that he loved to hear us sing for him. I remember his courage in facing the pain he had every day. He and Grandma gave us all a great model for how to love your family. I will always love you, Pop-pop, and I look forward to being with you in Heaven someday.
Now, for my dear dad. I made a list for my mom, and I'm going to make a list for Dad, too. Here are some of the many things I have learned from my dad:
- always welcome new people with a smile, a handshake, and if they're entering your house, ask them what they'd like to drink
- it is good to be able to laugh at yourself, and also to be able to make others laugh
- telling jokes is an art, learn it and use it
- the joy of playing games is in the play, not the outcome
- sing out, Louise!
- early mornings and sunrises are worth it
- take time to watch sunsets, too
- if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all . . . except for those few times when you're "simply acknowledging someone's differences" LOL
- if you look like Santa, milk it (he carries candy canes in his pockets all season, I think)
- family time is really important
- never miss the opportunity to tell people you love that you love them
- hugs rock
- it's ok to cry, even when you're happy (maybe I learned this from Pop-pop?)
- a good back scratch is always appreciated
- cold hands on a warm back can be really nice . . . I actually used to love it when I was a kid and Dad's car heater wasn't working, and he'd come home from work and put his FREEZING cold hands on my warm back
I want to say a few words of appreciation in honor of my father-in-law, too. Jim has always made me feel welcome, a part of the family since the first time I visited. He's like a second father to me, and I love him dearly. I love his sense of humor, and I love the way he gets us all sharing around the kitchen table (tell us about the very best breakfast you've ever had . . .).
I love you, Jim.