Tuesday, July 31, 2018

My dad

The Family History Prompt this time was to talk about my dad. 

My dad....where do I even start? This could be a long post, but I will stay brief to those things that I remember the most...the things that rocked me and helped me become the person I am today.

Kisses and Love: I have photos of my dad loving me...and I love it! By love I mean, kisses, hugs, laughter, and gaze. There is no refuting the photos - he loved us kids.

I see my current sweetheart and the love he has for his children...and this was the way my dad loved me. He would kiss, hug, tickle - in a very appropriate way, as a loving father would. I remember watching him father his infant and toddler children - and he loved this phase of parenting. Well, infant parenting, maybe a little less, but he was responsible and helped where he could with the infants. With toddlers, he would laugh, play, and cuddle. He was always wary of allowing toddlers too much freedom, but loved when they discovered or came up with new ways of doing things. He didn't talk much, but watched them in this freedom. When he did talk to them/me, it would always be to try to get them to laugh. He would back away from them, start 'aahing' and come closer until he could surprise them, or tickle them into laughing. That is when I would hearing him genuinely laugh. Growing up, I didn't hear my dad laugh too frequently, but he would always laugh at a toddler's laughter....and that was a treat.

Seeing my dad as a grandpa has been so beautiful. He loves on my infant whenever he can. He helps when Baby #2 is screaming, and puts him in what I call "the magic hold" that only good grandpas know how to do. Tucked in next to his belly and under his armpit. The babies get so cozy, they fall asleep.

Parent Versus Friend: Understanding His Purpose in Life: In my teenage years, I remember my dad saying, "I am not here to love you, I am here to be your dad." At the time, I believe we were arguing and my go to was "But, don't you love me." At first, his comment stung. It hurt for many years, even after we resolved that particular conflict. In my youth, I couldn't recognize that what he was trying to do was offer his guidance by controlling the particular outcome - which was probably foolish for me at the time. 

As I have grown, changed, and become a mother, I have truly evaluated this moment that I remember so distinctly. Did it mean he didn't love me....of course not. What he was trying to do was teach me (even if his teaching could be viewed as flawed) the value of why he is here on earth. 

In my moments of parenting, a child doesn't get what they want, but what they need. My dad understands and understood that concept very well. He is very aware of his spiritual capacities and his responsibility toward raising a family in this Plan of Salvation. He has never questioned this part of his identity and has never waned from what could be a debilitating responsibility. He has taken it head-on. 

While I am not sure of the intimate spiritual connecting he has to Jesus Christ because he doesn't share this with us too much (most likely he keeps that sacred), I AM sure that he has a channel with Him - just because my dad IS so steady, so immovable in his testimony...and always has been

I feel like I could have a full blog about my dad, but I will stop at these two memories and will continue as time allows.