Friday, February 28, 2014

There Is No Name For This

This morning, I was in a hurry to get myself and my son ready to go and out the door so that we could start our days.  I was heading to work, and he was heading to his Grandparents' house for the day.  I had taken a Benadryl to help me sleep and because with two new cats in the house, I was trying to head off any new allergies at the pass.  So, needless to say, I was experiencing full on Benadryl Haze.  Have you been there?  You feel tired, sort of light, maybe even a little buzzed.  That was me this morning.  

For those of you who aren't my Facebook friends, we adopted two kittens two days ago.  Our previous two, Hershey and Smudge, have both passed on after living full lives deep into their teens.  We have felt the loss, and Will has, too.  The house has just been too quiet.  We are looking forward to the joy and companionship that two new kittens will bring.  

So back to today - I was in my Benadryl Haze, and after I got Will out of bed the very first thing he said to me was 'Can you let the kitties out?'  At least initially, we are keeping them in a kennel with litter, food, water and beds.  They haven't been declawed, and we want to be sure they won't tear anything up.  We have a pretty short amount of time to get going in the morning, but I decided to let them out because it would make Will happy.  

Now the other night, I dropped a Gatorade lid on the floor on accident and Savannah, the grey and white kitten, pounced on it.  Both kittens have been playing with it and carrying it around in their mouths ever since.  This morning, Will found it and started throwing it to Savannah, and she would chase it.  He was running around with this joyous laughter that was just making me grin from ear to ear.  If I could bottle that sound, I would.  I stood there thinking to myself, this is what it's all about.  I can't quite come up with a name for it, but that moment when you hear the sound of laughter that just stops you in your tracks because it is so beautiful when it happens.......that's what this was for me.  

Okay, here is one of those honest moments you'll find in my blog from time to time.  I struggle with this big time.  I struggle with worry that I sometimes rob Will of his joy.  He is by nature one of the most joyful boys you will ever meet.  As his Daddy, though, it's my job (along with his Mommy) to reign him in and discipline him when he needs it.  It's just that, in doing that sometimes, I feel like I'm wiping the smile and laughter right off of his face.  I know it's part of the territory, but sheesh, it sure isn't easy.  Especially when you are a people pleaser like me.  I have been praying that God will grant me the patience and calmness I need to be a good Daddy to Will, and to do everything I can to help him bring his joy out rather than stealing it from him.  I'm not even sure if any of this is making any sense.  But I can tell you that when he was throwing that lid around, laughing and squealing with delight as he did it, that is a moment I always want to remember.  I want to be the kind of Dad who stops what I'm doing and takes the time to be goofy, have fun, play in the rain and snow, play endless games of 'ghost' and 'switcheroo' (silly little games Will and I have sort of made up).  He is at the age where he looks up to me, and that scares me sometimes, but makes me so proud others.  I pray he always does and that I always lead him the right way.  

I have a note to myself scribbled on my white board at work.  It says 'Someone is looking up to you.  Don't let them down.'  That someone is Will.  He is just about to turn four, and still at the age where he has his innocence and is just so full of joy and enthusiasm and wonder.  I pray he never loses that.  I pray he spends many days running around, laughing, and squealing with delight as he was on this day.  The sound of his laugh is like music to my ears.  

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Other Half

Some people hear the term 'my other half' and don't quite understand the meaning behind it.  It's almost used as a derogatory term in some cases.  But today, I want to tell you what it means to me.  

I met my wife, Leigh, nearly twenty-four years ago.  This year will mark our FIFTEENTH wedding anniversary.  No one on this earth knows me better.  She has seen me at my absolute best, and helped hold me up when I was at my absolute worst.  We have run marathons together, seen flying fish, gone to various parts of the world, owned two homes, two cats, and have a beautiful son together.  We have gone through extreme heartbreak together.  We have experienced pure and utter joy together as well.  There have been trials, and there have been celebrations.  We've fought and argued.  We've enjoyed each other immensely.  I'm 42 years old, and one thing is certain for me.  I do not know what I would do without her.  She is my rock.  She is my constant (yes, it's a Lost reference if you're familiar with the show at all).  She is the glue that holds our family together.  And she does it all without a hint of complaint.  God has blessed me with an amazing woman. 

Leigh's birthday is Wednesday February 12th.  Yes, Abraham Lincoln tried to steal her thunder - can you believe it? I cannot reveal her age as I'd like to live to see tomorrow.  But won't you join me in telling her how amazing she is and wishing her a happy birthday?  Hit her up on facebook, shoot her a text if you have her phone number.  Let her know how awesome she is.  

I know the title of this blog is 'Love Being A Daddy', and I absolutely do.  But I also love being a husband and a partner to Leigh.  I don't tell her that nearly enough.  I don't make her feel appreciated nearly enough, either.  

She cooks, cleans, does laundry, folds laundry, washes dishes, grocery shops, pays bills and lives with me.  That last one is a tough one.  Did I mention she's amazing? But those are just some of the things she does.  Those do not define who she is.  She is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.  She has a heart of absolute gold.  She has a great laugh, loves to read, enjoys knitting, is a wonderful mother, and the greatest wife a guy could ever ask for.  She puts up with me for crying out loud!!!  Can any of you that know me imagine what it would be like to live with me every day, 24/7/365?  She does that!  I know, right?!?!  

To me, the term 'my other half' is just that.  If she wasn't there, part of me would die.  When I have something good happen to me, I want to tell her about it.  When something awful happens, I immediately talk to her about it.  When Will does something or says something that I want to remember, I text her or call her to share it with her because I know it will warm her heart as much as it does mine.  

When I got married, I really didn't quite know what it would be like.  I only knew that I wanted to spend my life with Leigh.  It hasn't always been easy, and it has been far from perfect.  But it's ours and I love it.  I couldn't have possibly predicted the wild ride it would be, but she's stuck by me through it all.  And I can't wait to see what the next part of the journey is like with her riding along side me.  

I love you sweetie.  This one's for you.  Happy early birthday!