Okay, this is your warning. This is a cheesy post. But what can I tell you? I'm a guy who doesn't mind some cheesiness, sharing my feelings, or even the occasional chick flick. And I'm okay with that. My man card is in full effect. That being said, just be warned that this is a post some might consider 'sappy'.
Daddy. Such a simple word. I'd probably heard it and said it more times than I can count. But the first time Will said it to me "Dada", it meant something completely different to me than it had before. I can still recall the first time he said 'Daddy I love you!'. I never get tired of hearing it, and never will. Have I mentioned lately that I love being a Daddy?!?!?! Even the name of my blog makes it pretty clear.
Will is turning 3 later this month, which in and of itself is hard to believe. Where has the time gone? He's in preschool, doing well and loving it. He loves to play, and he pays attention. If someone says something one time, he'll remember it. Just the other night, we were sitting at the kitchen table together eating supper, and I said "I don't have another hot dog, I'll have to make you one." Without missing a beat, he looks at me wide-eyed with a grin on his face and says "Are you serious, Daddy!?!?". I must have laughed for a full minute or two before I could compose myself and go nuke another hot dog for him.
I often find myself feeling time slipping away and trying to hold onto all of the memories and 'little things' that he does and we do together. Like how when I come home from work, the first thing he usually asks me is "Are you wearing your work clothes? You need to change your clothes, Daddy." He says this because part of our evening ritual is to go upstairs together to my room so he can 'help me' change my clothes. Basically what that entails is him jumping up and down on our bed, laughing and saying 'Aww Daddy!' in this growly little voice when I take my shirt off, and several instances of ring around the rosy. Oh, and let's not forget opening the blinds - which he is now kind enough not to do until after I've changed my clothes. Leigh and I have this big jar full of coins in our room, and he likes to take some coins out and put them in his two piggy banks and one bear bank in his room. I try to use it as an opportunity to teach him about the different kinds of money. Or how he has to go downstairs or upstairs to help us whenever we go. Oh, and the selection of a toy before pretty much anything we do - going potty, going to Grandma's, taking a bath, going to bed, going somewhere in the car, going for a walk or to play outside - he always wants to 'get something' first. Sometimes he changes his mind several times about what toy or toys he wants to get, and sometimes I get impatient and try to hurry him along. But at the end of the day, these are the moments I live for. Moments with family. Moments being a Daddy. He almost always comes running to the door when I get home from work. I want to bottle the feeling that goes along with that, because I know it won't always be this way. It doesn't seem that long ago when we were doing some tummy time on the floor, and we put a rattle I think it was about 5 feet in front of him, and he figured out how to crawl to it. Or when we were letting him hold one finger on each hand so he could 'walk' around the house with us. Now he is running around the house and we're having a hard time catching him! I signed up for the Chicago Marathon so I can get back into shape and keep up with him this year. *GRIN*
Everywhere we go, we make new friends because of Will. He loves talking to people. One time we were at the Olive Garden and he was contemplating why the woman at the table next to us had cherries in her drink, and he decided to just ask her. That led to a conversation with the two women at that table that lasted until we left. They said how much they enjoyed him as we were leaving. I know exactly what they mean. Or the time we went to another restaurant, a relatively small one, and we were stationed about 20 feet from the door to enter the restaurant. He was very interested in watching people come in and out of that door, so I suggested he tell them "Welcome to the (name of restaurant)" whenever someone came in the door. Oh, he loved that, and so did the people coming in. I think he did it 5 or 6 times. He also chats up the waiters and waitresses and asks them their names. He is a talker, and a thinker, and I love it! One night we were sitting at the table eating and he said 'Is that the basement door, and the bathroom door, and the garage door, and the front door?" Then, without missing a beat, he says "I ask alot of questions."
Maybe I should just start a journal full of these little moments, because these are the things I want to remember. Not how many toys we bought him, or how much money I make, or how big our house is. I want to remember the moments with Will. He is simply an angel sent from above and he makes me so proud to be his Daddy. These things (and many more not included in this post) make me smile when I think about them. I hope they put a smile on your face, too.