Sunday, July 17, 2011

Daddy Love

I'm with Lucy all day, every day. Her warmth, her feel, her smell; they're as familiar to me as my own. But I'm realizing that sometimes, just sometimes, if I let myself take a step back then I get a chance to witness something.

A baby girl falling in love with her daddy.

The three of us were sitting on the back porch together listening to one of our favorite Cd's, a recording of Thunderbolt Patterson playing at our wedding reception. I decided to go inside and jump in the shower. When I got out, I could hear that the song playing was the one my dad and I danced to. I peeked out our bedroom window to see Steven swaying to the song with Lucy.

I just stood there and watched. Then went and grabbed my camera. I wanted to capture it. The beginning of a million daddy/daughter moments. She's going to learn so many things from him. She's going to be crazy about him.

It's moments like these that I become thankful for Steven all over again. Not just for the amazing role that he will play in Lucy's life, but the things she will learn from watching the way he treats me. Steven is patient with me and loving. He is slow to anger and respectful. The way he speaks to me is just as important as how he speaks to Lucy. I hope to always remember that being a loving husband and wife is also us being loving parents.

It's certainly not a challenge to remember why I love this man so much when this is the view outside my bedroom window...

Oh, and that song they were dancing to? Steven later admitted he got a little choked up. After hearing this song hundreds of times, this time...he gets it.

Father and Daughter

If you leap awake in the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second you can't remember where you are
Just open your window and follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain where we counted every falling star

I believe a light that shines on you will shine on you forever
And though I can't guarantee there's nothing scary hiding under your bed
I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard of a Golden Retriever
And never leave 'til I leave you with a sweet dream in your head

I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

~Paul Simon

Monday, July 11, 2011

Month 4

Dear Lucy,

Happy 4 months! I can't decide if I feel more..."I can't believe it's only been 4 months!" or more like, "I can't believe it's already been 4 months!"

You technically are not a newborn anymore, but there's still so much newness. Yet there's something worn-in and familiar about you. Like slipping on that one pair of jeans every time, even though I probably own ten. You just fit right and feel good.

And thanks for being such a great confidence booster. I've never had someone so eager to listen to me talk and sing and ramble on about the 7.3 million thoughts that float through my head daily. Sometimes you just gaze at me with a sheepish little grin on your face and I think we both could sit like that forever.

Your vocal range has doubled. Along with the frequency of how often you test it out. And your movements are much more deliberate. Your little fingers are on the prowl; caressing your squeaky pig toy, trying to pick the stripes off our sheets, and pluck the flowers from the pillow.

And you love swimming. Yes, in the water. But also on the bed, the couch, your swing, and in our arms. Not sure if your plan is to become an Olympic swimmer or not, but you've got your frog and scissor kick down pat. We do need to work on your arm form though. You're a little flail-y.

Speaking of flailing. I thought I could balance you on one knee and a bowl of pasta on the other. I had already consumed a few bites, proud of myself for such a smooth system I created. Then with no warning you decide to practice your jazz hands and the bowl of pasta went flying. And since I've been saying, "I'll vacuum tomorrow..." for a week now, my lunch instantly grew a coat of black dog hair. Lucy, you laughed. You laughed AND snorted. You make life so much better.

You are funny, and happy, and full of joy. You're a 16 pound sack of sweet goodness. You're my sugar lump. I will try not to eat you.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Strength and Resilience

I watch her sleep. So sweet, so perfect, so innocent.

Tracing my finger along her chubby arms, and rolling thighs, and plump cheeks…my chest tightens at the thought of something.

One day…she’s going to get hurt.

Yes there will be the scraped knee, bumped head, busted lip kind of hurt. I know how to fix those. I know those heal.

It’s the other kind.

She’s going to go to school. And maybe come home crying because she wasn’t picked to play on the playground, or she overheard some girls talking about her, or the boy she likes doesn’t even know her name. What if she feels like she’s not good enough? Or she feels too tall, too awkward? What if she doesn’t feel pretty enough, or feels like she never says the right thing? What if she puts her all into something, and she doesn’t get chosen, she doesn’t win?

I pray that God grants me the wisdom to guide her. To protect that sweet, perfect, innocent heart.

I wonder though. Will she take after me and her strength and sense-of-self will slowly build and mature through every experience, heartbreaking and joyous, and through the safe haven of a loving family? Will she not see her strength until she’s looking back from the other side?

Or will she take after her father, who seemed to be born with a strength and resilience that, even at a young age, guided him and helped him rise above adversity?

Maybe she’ll fall somewhere in between; the solid strength of her father, but the sensitivity to be comforted in the arms of her daddy and me. We will hold her and dry her tears. We will pray together. We will remind her that her Maker delights in her; she was created in His image. That her family adores her and she is fiercely loved. I will let her know that birds of sorrow will pass over her head but she can choose to not let them build a nest in her hair, because tomorrow is a new day.

Then I will close her bedroom door and I will probably cry…because my little girl was hurt.

Until then, I will continue to pray for her strength; for good and loving friends to be placed in her path, and that she will always know how fiercely she is loved.

Now back to just watching her sleep…

And I pray that you and all God's holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love. I pray that you can understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ's love is greater than any person can ever know. But I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:18-19

Monday, July 4, 2011