Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Day with Daddy

This is one of my favorite pictures of Abby and Jason.
The wonder and love written clearly across his face speaks
From the minute Abby came into this world, she and Jason have had a special bond. In fact, the name Abigail means, "Father in rejoicing" or "Father's joy", and Abby has always been that - her father's joy. If you know Jason at all you know he is famous for his "busy-ness", the man rarely sits still. This is the guy that still asks me nearly each Saturday, "Okay, what's the plan for today?", even though he knows my answer is always, "nothing".  Frankly, the fella always needs something to do. I tell you this because when Abby was born this busy guy would spend hours sitting by her bedside. Even I, who could happily be a professional relaxer (does that job even exist?), needed something to do when I was by her bedside, but Jason? No, he could sit calmly and look at her all day - and he did. Maybe, there was so much busy-ness going on inside of him as he contemplated Abby and her future, that he was able to remain outwardly calm. Whatever it was, I have never before, or since, seen him so still as when he was with Abby in those first few days. Whether she knew he was there or not, and I believe there's a part of her that did, their relationship was cemented in those first few tenuous days and hours.

I have been privileged to watch their relationship grow and bloom since then. Jason can get her to happily do things that for me, would be like moving mountains. He's the only one that can calm her fears at night when she wakes up from a scary dream, or hears noises that scare her. It's Jason who can light up her day by simply walking in the door after work. Everyone should be greeted with a joyous, "Dada's home!" being yelled as Abby hurtles herself into his arms. He is her hero, and she is his light - it is beautiful to see.

Because they're so close, and because she has him so completely wrapped around her little finger, she often can get Dad to do things that Mom will not. Today was a case in point. A few days ago Abby discovered the bag filled with all the extra "goodies" from her party last week. Since at the point at which she found it I didn't have the strength of will to wrestle it from her, I thought it would be fine for her to sort though it. I figured that she'd have a couple of Tootsie Rolls and we could pack the stuff up, but I'd forgotten about the bubbles. For each young party-goer there was a small bottle of bubbles for them to take home. Abby hit the jackpot when she discovered about eight of those amongst the candy and balloons. I did let her go through about three of the bottles, but after the last one ended up more on her shirt than blown through the air, I was done. I put the bag on top of the fridge and set about distracting her.

The mistake I made was letting her see where I'd put them. Today, after the about the twelfth time of telling her no, and watching her try to scale the refrigerator like she was climbing Mount Everest, she finally crumpled to the ground and called for, "Dada". A deal was struck - after lunch they would go outside and blow bubbles. I'll give Abby credit, she didn't throw a fit, no, she threw her arms around his neck and continued to softly cry. I tell you, she is a master! Jason, not being able to hold out against such an assault, took her outside for some bubbles.

Can you even see Abby
behind that big brute of a dog?
They ended up spending an hour and a half outside in the sunshine. They played in Abby's playhouse, they threw tennis balls to Bruiser, Abby rode her bike, and they even took turns helping Bruiser out of his winter coat by giving him a good brush-down. In the end we all came out winners, Daddy remained the hero, Mama got some much needed rest, Bruiser got some attention, and Abby got some fun time spent outside with Dada, and a bonus ice cream sundae thrown in at the end.

We are all looking forward to a restful afternoon. Abby plans to play dress-up and dance (at least that's what she's doing now) and Dada is hoping to catch the big game, which is okay with me - he's earned it. Being the World's Best Dad takes a lot out of a guy.

Welcome to Abby's house!

Who couldn't smile on a beautiful sunny day
like today?

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