Twice In the past year, he has walked a daughter down a long aisle. He has witnessed them join their lives to the partners they have chosen. He has assembled furniture and moved furniture into new homes and hugged them and kissed them good-bye. He will perform a ceremony joining his last unmarried child to a special woman later this year. He watched his eldest begin his own journey as a father nearly one year ago.
As a daddy, he rocked his babies to sleep next to his heart in a big wooden rocker. When they grew a bit more, little girls were picked up and twirled around in daddy dances. Sometimes, there was a niece who was danced as well. He sang to them, told stories of the adventures of brown haired girls and boys and yellow haired girls and boys, chased them squealing, and tucked them in and gave good-night kisses. He was a bit player in plays they created and directed.
He taught them to drive. He taught them about life. He told (tells) them jokes.
He prayed for them.
He modeled what character acts like and how a husband should treat a wife. He loved / loves their mother. He taught without words which traits would be desirable in a husband – and how to BE a husband – simply by being who he is. Patient. Faithful. Honoring his God. Gentle. Forgiving. Generous with his time. Humble. (He will be uncomfortable with this tribute -*smile*) He worked hard even on days it was not particularly fulfilling to do so.
He did not do everything right. Fathers make mistakes and good fathers ask forgiveness and try again.
He’s entered the time of life when they’re no longer upstairs in their rooms at night. They’re now in the little instant message chat box on the computer, or they’re on the phone, and sometimes – they’re visiting in the same room.
There have been glimpses of the dancing daddy from years ago as he twirls another little one around. He holds her up high and she squeals in delight. His daughters and niece get a glimpse of how he played with them. They smile as they watch him swing her around.
They may even remember.
Entertaining the Troops