Saturday, 14 June 2014
What he does...
It's all in the detail, what he does. I don't think I could ever be as fun or as devil-may-care. Spontaneity is what he has, and long arms that take her down to the waters edge or push her up a tree. And something else that I fail to possess, in spades. Adventure. Up his sleeve, spilling out from his pockets. I'm about the internal. He's all about the external. I read her books and role play with her dolls. I explain new words and encourage her to sail those uncharted terrains of her mind. Who is she today? What spell is she going to perform? Why exactly are all those teddies piled under the duvet like that? He pretends to be a robot. He chases her about the garden. He flaps his heavy arms, a man fairy in a crew-neck sweater; bless him, he can't fly. 'I'm coming to get you.' 'I'm coming to get you,' he says chasing after her. She doubles over giggling, he's the funniest Daddy ever. He counts. She hides. He helps her onto the highest rungs of the climbing frame. 'Don't worry, I've got my eye on her; and anyway, if she falls - but she won't, I promise you - that's how she'll learn.' He shows her the limits and gently extends them a little bit further.
He tells her how beautiful she is, how much he loves her. Daddy cuddles are the best ever. He's glad he had a girl, not one for kicking a ball about, not one for cops and robbers and shoot-em up games. Together they build lego, work out jigsaw puzzles, play dominoes. Together they tease out the plastic pieces from the patient, touching the sides on purpose, laughing at the shock of the buzz and the flashing nose. Once they made a fairy house from cereal boxes with a door and a chimney. She painted it pink and red and yellow and green. They bake rice crispie cakes and chocolate buns, and huggle together on the sofa with a biscuit, watch Frozen or Tinkerbell again and again.
He is her bestest, most favourite Daddy ever. (I keep reminding her she only has the one). But for the past twelve months he was away on assignment from Monday till Friday, and she missed him terribly. In his absence they spoke on the phone, or chatted in person over Skype. And through the laptop she watched her Daddy draw silly faces on his whiteboard, or at her request, draw abstract renditions of a nose or an eye, describing how each one worked with deft arrows and manic squiggles. Every evening she had another query for him. And every evening like a seasoned open-university pro, he had his marker pen at the ready. How he relishes the role of teacher and mentor. On our way to Wales, he explained the mechanics of the Seven Bridge. How far it stretched. How tall it was. What kept it from collapsing. 'We're going up! We're on the bridge Daddy! I love the holder-uppers!'
They have their rituals, their things. On Saturday morning it's scrambled eggs on toast. On Sunday they watch the racing cars together. When he mows the lawn, she follows from behind holding the lead, preventing it from becoming tangled. He tells her his own special stories as he tucks her up in bed. She accompanies him when he has a haircut, to the dump, to the car wash, when he needs a new pair of glasses. The daddy stuff.
Together they are the right fit, a beautiful father-daughter combination. Younger Dad is a wonderful mix of warmth and sensitivity, confidence and bright thought. This weekend we are celebrating him. I couldn't have asked for a better father for our child.
Happy fathers day Younger Dad.
(this post was inspired by Dorky Mum's Boy Love).