Daddies and Slippery Socks

There's just something about a daddy.

If mom is sustained, lasting light, dad is a spark. It's certainly true in my family, where the men simply produce a different kind of energy. Dads and Grandpas are wonderfully familiar but exotic and new at the same time.

Some of my most vivid memories from childhood took place during weekend car rides, just my dad and I. They are engraved in my memory not because we did anything particularly exciting or adventurous - these were mostly just weekly errands, with the occasional stop at a donut shop. And it wasn't the conversation. We didn't talk a whole lot. There was just something different about being with him.

It's that way in the family I've created, too. For Cassie and Callie, Daddy is an exclamation point at the end of each day.
I'm sure Cassie doesn't know how to tell time, but at precisely 6:30 every weeknight, she's got her nose pressed against the glass, waiting for daddy's truck to rumble up the driveway.

Calliope, almost three months old, coos and grins at me all day, but when Ty comes home, her muscles start to work. She starts making little jabs with her arms and legs. Her mouth forms an o-shape. She's a picture of pure concentration. Her dad certainly harnesses - and elicits - a different kind of energy.

When my daughter and I were living with my parents awaiting Calliope's birth, Grandpa would announce his arrival each evening with two quick honks. "Grandpa! Grandpa!" Cassie would run to the door so fast that her socks would send her sliding across the linoleum.

The wide-eyed way Cassie looks at the men in her life just melts my heart. I can only imagine what it does to them. Like most toddlers, her whole face has a feeling, not just her mouth.

I wonder how things would change - with our husbands, our fathers, our mothers, our children, our friends - if we all greeted one another like this. If we carried this intensity into all of our relationships. If we ran so fast we slid to greet the important people in our lives.

A recent Oprah episode had Toni Morrison asking, "Do your eyes light up when your children come into the room?" Because that's what they are looking for, she said.
I find myself reflecting on that wisdom frequently. Because isn't that what we're all looking for? Today, see if you can make sure someone finds it.

Happy Father's Day to all the daddies who do just that every day. We salute you.