Today was another classic day with the girls. It started out as Christmas in Late January (Jen, we got the box of clothes early this morning! You rock!!!), transitioned into a Trophy Wife late morning (good to run into you Lovey!), and devolved into a long-string-of-running-battles afternoon. (Jackie, the play date was a Godsend, but daycare Craft Night was cancelled because of lingering plumbing issues, and the girls really could have used that nap they didn't take.) Which led to an early evening of watching-the-clock-til-Daddy-comes-home, followed by a here-you-finish-the-bath-and-put-them-to-bed-early-while-I-run-screaming-out-of-the-house late evening.
Ok, so I didn't run out of the house screaming. But I did bolt out of that bathroom pretty quickly after BestestHusband came in. The dogs still desperately needed a walk, and I needed to return the Shaun the Sheep video to the library. How's that for multitasking? Brisk walk + walk the dogs + return stuff to the library = cross 2 things off my ToDo list without resorting to a glass of wine. I don't like walking in the cold, but the winter-that-hasn't-come-yet gave me a calm ice-free night. And I usually am thankful that I made the effort once I get out there.
So the dogs and I trotted down to the Square, a nice person ran the DVD into the library so I didn't have to get yelled at for bringing the dogs inside, and we headed back home. I love looking into the windows of houses in the evening. I'm usually just looking for decorating ideas or trying to see if the insides of homes look much like their outsides. (Frequently in Boston, they don't. The old housing stock here can frequently look shabbier on the outside than the inside. Surprises await when you cross thresholds.) But passing one house, I got a glimpse of people. I didn't stop and ogle. I didn't want to be a voyeur, I glimpsed enough to get the idea: a father sat on the couch, reading a book to his two little girls. The girls looked maybe 6 and 8 years old, they were in their jammies and all three were draped over each other, definitely in full-on snuggle mode. It made me smile the rest of the way home.
There are few things sweeter than little girls with Doting Daddies. I have two such little girls whom I love very much. And they have a Doting Daddy whom I also love very much. Watching them adore each other is one of the great joys of my life.
I am blessed to be surrounded by Doting Daddies. Our church is full of them. They bounce and sway with babies. They fill their laps with clingy children. They do diaper duty. They herd antsy children to the nursery. They sit in the 2 year old class and do hand motions to "Jesus Loves Me". They fill plates for kids at potluck meals.
Our friends are Doting Daddies. They toss maniacally-laughing but slightly-too-heavy-for-this kids up in the air until their shoulders give out. They take kids out for Saturday brunch so moms can get together to finish projects. They take kids to soccer and swimming at the Y. They cook breakfast pancakes. They pack lunches. They try really hard to make morning hair into pony tails and find reasonable outfits that little girls want to wear (hah! good luck with that one!). They work very long days, then come home and do dinner and bedtime. They help brush teeth, then snuggle together to read books. Lots of books.
My own father is a Doting Daddy. As is my father-in-law. And brother-in-laws. We're surrounded by them. For us, they're the norm. But I know that they haven't always been, and aren't the norm for everyone.
So I'm thankful for that evening walk, and the briefly glimpsed Doting Daddy in my neighborhood. And especially thankful for all the Doting Daddies in my life.