Monday, June 18, 2012

I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home

Fathers' Day is bitter sweet for me. 
Even now, as a grown woman with a family of my own, I still think about Father's Day as a child.
It was painful, to say the least.
I was the one in my Sunday school class without a father to give my newly made craft with wet glue to.
I usually ended up giving it to my best friend's dad.
Until they moved away just as I was entering high school.
After that I think I pretty much avoided church on Father's Day.
Then there was the time when I was 16 years old and my bishop asked me to speak in Sacrament meeting on Father's Day about what it was like to live in a home without a father.
I told him I would.
I struggled for 2 full weeks with knots in my stomach about what I would say.
I simply could not get past the bitterness, it nearly consumed me.
I called in the morning on Father's Day and faked sick.
My name was already printed on the program, still, I was a no show.
I simply did not have the courage to get up and talk about how my father had left me when I was 2 years old,  how I would pretend that my best friends dad was my own, how I longed to have my dad come home from work every night just so I could sit by him on the couch, instead how he chose to be miles and miles away from me.
I wanted (in vain) a dad, my dad.
Now, many years later I have learned to ignore that desire.
It does get a little tricky the week preceding father's day.
The kids in primary were invited to sing in Sacrament meeting.
This year I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home was on the docket.
We practiced with the children in primary for weeks until it was perfect.
My kids went around humming or singing it to themselves all week long.
I watched them as their daddy came home every evening, the joy in their eyes, the smile on their lips and the laughter as tickles and hugs were exchanged.
I felt that familiar pang.
I longed, once again to know the joy of being small and having daddy come home.
But I only felt the pang for an instant.
That pain was instantly replaced with immense joy and gratitude for my loving family.
 The joy I feel as my children's father comes home after a long day at work and continues to give and to love and to just be makes me whole.
He continues to just be the dad I always wished I had.
Mr Bird, will you ever know how much your selflessness heals my broken heart?
When I see you with our children I love you more deeply than I ever imagined I could.
I love how you are with them.
You teach me so much every day, I try to be as patient and loving with them as you are.
Thank you for your loving example, thank you for loving our children, thank you for choosing to spend eternity with us.
Thank you for the fun camping trips and putting in my garden.
Even on the days when you come home totally exhausted and all you want to do is sit with the kids and watch a Star Trek, thank you for coming home.
Sometimes when you come home and I see our children hide to jump out at you when you open the door, I feel like a kid again.
I feel the joy they feel and it heals me.
I don't know what I ever did to deserve you, but I thank God everyday for you and the endless sacrifices you make for our adorable family.
You have made me so, so happy!

 "I'm so glad when daddy comes home,
Glad as I can be;
Clap my hands and shout for joy,
Then climb upon his knee,
Put my arms around his neck,
Hug him tight like this,
Pat his cheeks, then give him what?
A great big kiss."

 Children's Songbook, page 210

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