Sunday, June 19, 2016

To the Father of My Children

I've spent the day-this Father's Day-being grateful for you.  I am good at taking care of our children - anticipating needs and meeting them. I am *not* good at playing with them. That's where you come in.  

You are so good at slowing down and enjoying them at their level, encouraging them to play, to explore, and making them laugh. You accept and love them unconditionally, and they blossom around you because of it.  Thanks for being my perfect foil, for being able to undo their knots of emotion with your calm, thoughtful manner where I only butt heads and wills.  

I loved coming home today from our trip and the kids ecstatic to see you - Gideon's shy, pure laugh of excitement, Esther's saying "dadda" over and over, squealing with delight. They aren't old enough to articulate why and how they love you in cards and words, but you must know you are tops just by the joy in their faces on seeing you.

I am so grateful for the little and big things you do in as a father - for giving me an extra hour in the morning to work and get ready after the kids get up, always cleaning up the kitchen, making and cleaning up dinner on Sundays, reading to the kids nightly and whenever they ask, and generally sharing their joy in seeing them and spending quality time wherever possible.  

Let's not forget that you have provided for this family despite great health challenges.  You have humbled me dozens of times by the simple act of getting up and going to work when life's challenges have so often seemed insurmountable.  

I am so, so grateful that you are the father of my children and that Gideon will learn how to be a father from you.  Sure love you!

Small Wonders

We went to Greenwich Beach with friends the Claytons.  Here's Sarah and her baby girl Esther's age, Eleanor

* Gideon's favorite expletive is "oh man," and it comes out at the most opportune times - when he's asked to do something he doesn't want to, when something is difficult, and when he's excited.
* I recently accepted the responsibility to play the piano in Primary at our church.  G was brought into me because he needed to use the restroom, and saw me at the piano.  He asked me if it was my job to play the piano, to which I said yes.  He then said, "Your job is to play piano, my job is to play in nursery."  Yes, bud, you get it!
* To maximize our visit with the Clayton's, G attended Primary with Coco, the Clayton's second daughter, who just turned five.  Sitting in with him for "sharing time" where all the little kids are together the second hour of church (we have three!), he indicated near then end that he wanted to play trucks (presumably in nursery). Then the Primary leader testified about the principle she was teaching, bringing the Spirit in quite powerfully.  Gideon indicated that he felt the Spirit, then said he wanted to go to Coco's class.  It was interesting to me that, even at his age, the Spirit is able to prompt us to do those things that will help us learn more - to do the better part out of two goods.
* G has started to say things like "before springtime," "after winter," and "in the summer."  We've never taught him seasons and I don't really know where he picked it up!
* Overheard frequently: "I have a great idea!" "Instead [used appropriately]," "I haven't seen that before!" "that's not an option," and "Oh my gosh.  What is that?!"
* E has started to use small phrases - "I did it!" "I bite." "No puzzles!" and others.
* E will go get tissue and wipe Gideon's nose, attempt to put her own sunscreen on, wash her hands, help pack and unpack, and anything she thinks would be helpful.  

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