Our youngest has just ripped one into goal. He is thrilled; a huge white smile opens up in his latte-hued face. While G is being congratulated by his teammates, and even though he wears sports goggles, I witness him searching the sidelines. His eyes roam and then spot us, but it is confirmation he seeks. From Mark. The smile widens further when he realizes that the goal was seen. Dad’s smile is as big, if not bigger. They exchange hardy and two-handed thumbs up.
My heart smiles.
A is in the big chair snuggled up to Mark, in a serious discussion about something deep. She loves the “deep,” the “chewy,” and the complex. He loves to challenge her. His nonverbal posture shouts full engagement. She is rapt in attention while he speaks to her. Seeing them like this, even though a common scene, causes my heart to swell. Tears prick my eyes.
I smile and go on.
J walks though the kitchen. Mark “checks” her into the wall. She laughs and does it back to him. This goes on a few times. This “checking” is something he began with her when she was just a wee thing. Introverted, she preferred to remain passive about everything. His goal was to help her instill “backbone,” understand she can be tough, that it’s expected she’ll stand her ground with others.
I am glad.
I watch my son with his girlfriend. H towers over her diminutive frame. I observe the way he looks at her, the manner in which his eyes dance as he takes her in. His large hand is gentle on the small of her back as he guides her through the building. He treats her with respect, compassion and grace. He has learned these things from his father, his role model.
I am proud.
Saturday mornings around here typically begin with a singing father and kids making pancakes (chocolate chip, apple-cinnamon, and plain dusted with powdered sugar) from scratch, accompanied by bacon, and fresh oranges. I often sleep in, or “lay in,” listening and enjoying happy composition of creating our weekend kickoff meal.
I am full of joy. My children are rich in the light and love of their father, and I am grateful.