Monday, June 24, 2013

Amy's insights on being a good daddy

Amy at age 8
I thought I had things figured out. Well, as much as any man can when dealing with young daughters.

Our little brunette, Kelley, was a pure joy. She was very artistic and creative.

She was followed 18 months later by our little blonde Emily—a girl who was fascinated with climbing everything and figuring out ways to get into anything she wasn’t supposed to.

These two sweethearts played very well with each other—each of them bringing different personality traits to the table.

And then, 18 months after Emily was born, we were blessed with our redheaded daughter Amy. She was a game changer.

Like her two older sisters, she was very bright and creative. But there was something, well, different about her. I used to joke that there was a small little man beating on a drum in a funky rhythm and only Amy could hear him. And she danced to that beat.

At one point in time, I remember Amy sitting on my lap while we were at church. She was sucking her thumb while holding on to my earlobe with her other hand. Once in a while, she’d look up at me and give me the silliest grin. I turned to my wife and said, “Where did she come from?”

When she was in first grade, I was invited to go to her school where the kids had written things about their dads. Most of the kids wrote things like, “My dad can wrestle bears” or “My dad can build cool tree houses” or “My dad can beat up your dad.” What did my daughter write? “I love how my dad plays dolls with me and hugs and kisses me.”  

Flash forward several years later. Amy is now 13—and still as eccentric as ever. We’ve realized over time she and I share a lot in common, like our troubles with spelling, our struggles with our tempers (I was a redhead as a child) and our very sensitive natures.

For this Father’s Day, she gave me a jar full of Chocolate Hugs and Kisses as well as several little slips of paper with sayings that she wrote for me.

To help you understand this adorable girl better, here are some of the things she wrote:

“Thank you for giving me your personality.”

“I love how I can learn from your mistakes.”

“Your hair smells nice.”

“I like how I can sometimes eat more than you.” (She’s like 80 pounds soaking wet.)

“I like how you taught me how to tie a tie and now I can and some guys can’t.”

“I like how you are strong but you are gentle.”

“I like how I can make you skip with me.”

“Thanks for marrying Mommy.”

“You understand me.”

“I’m glad you can’t spell ethier.” (Yeah, that’s how she spelled it.)

“I’m overjoyed that I was given such a great example for my dad.”

Three years later we had our final daughter, a strawberry blonde we named Stephanie. But she’s a story for another time.

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