Sunday, June 21, 2009

happy dada day!

Happy Father's Day!

To my sweet husband, the most amazing father I know: You are sweet, loving, kind, fun, affectionate, creative, and zany. Maddie and Samuel (and me) are so lucky to have you! Every day you wake up to a sweet little face staring back at you, either from in the bed or out, and it never ceases to make you smile. The way you look at your little girl melts my heart; there is no question that she is one hundred percent adored by her Dada. In her mind, there is no more perfect play partner. She is constantly engaging you when you are home and asking for you when you are away. She delights in how you delight in her. It is clear from how she acts around you that she not only knows she is loved, but that someone also thinks she is funny and clever and interesting. I had a Daddy who loved me, and it is the best gift you can give your child, so I thank you.

Samuel is now getting to the stage where he has started looking for you and turning toward your voice. Your loud and boisterous laugh is one of the few things that can rouse him from slumber or distract him from his business. Just last night as I changed his clothes before bed, he smiled and became excited at the sound of you laughing with Maddie next door. I cannot wait to see how your relationship with your son develops. Oh, the joys that await the Joyce boys! I see lots of climbing, wrestling, boogie boarding, fishing and talking in your future! Your delight in your son is also amazing to behold, and he will no doubt be grateful one day for a Dad with such integrity, love and strength of character.

To my own Dad: When I think of growing up with you as my father, I have nothing but fond memories. You were and still are one of the most fun, funny, crazy, loving and tender men I know. You love your wife with such selflessness and your children and grandchildren with a spirit of grace and strength in meekness. Behind your gentle exterior is a strength not found in most men. 

I delight in seeing you as a Papa to my children and my brother's children. To each of them, you are not only a great big huggable love but a jungle gym, always ready to play. Grace, Lizzie, Maddie, Elijah and Samuel are crazy about you and with good reason. You are so easy to love. You embody Christ's self-sacrificing love and are an example to everyone around you. I love you so much!

To Mike, my father-in-law: The things you do for Maddie speak volumes of your love for her. I think of the countless hours you've spent with her on your shoulders, steering you by your ears, to the "balancing" acts on the living room floor, to the liberal application of lip gloss on your lips and the surrounding skin--all in the name of love for one small, spectacular girl. I love that you are game for anything she asks, as long as she is happy.

Thank you for raising a son who seeks truth and who is interested in learning as much as he can about the world around him. He and you are similar in all the best ways: intelligent, curious, fun, adventurous. Some of our best adventures (and closest encounters) have come from following the lead of you and your son, and these are memories I treasure and things I hope for my own kids.

Ben, thanks for making me a Mama. I treasure this role every day. I'm so proud of you who are as a Dad and look forward to the way your kids will look up to you and seek to make you proud as they grow. More than that, I am grateful to God for the example you set and already we are seeing the fruits of your spiritual direction in Maddie's life as she asks to read her "Bible storybook" with you each night before bed. She already knows how happy it makes you to talk about God together and she is so blessed to have you teaching her each night.

To my favorite dads, I love you all! Happy Father's Day!

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