Monday, August 5, 2013

Wonderful Surprise

"What a wonderful surprise!" my son exclaimed as my dad opened our front door.  "You are just in time for dinner!  Can I get you a chair?"  He ran over to the dining room table to grab an extra chair and my dad told him not to worry, he wasn't staying long.  "Oh, okay!  Well, at least come and be with us while we eat," my son said as he grabbed a hold of his papa's hand.

This interaction was wonderfully heartwarming for more than one reason.  First, it's always great to see my child show good manners.  I love that he is so welcoming when guests come into our home.  But it was mostly heartwarming because of the recipient of this welcome. 

My dad has always been a great dad but he was very very busy.  When I was young, he was immersed in his work and focused on providing for our family.  Once he got home, he was drained.  We would see our "fun Dad" on the weekends when we would go to our lake house to ski in the summer or sit by the fire playing board games in the winter. Then, on Monday, it was back to reality.

With my children, the experience has been totally different.  When my dad is with them, he is present. He listens intently to their stories, laughs at their jokes (louder than I do!) and delights in hearing about what they are currently interested in.  They have noticed.  My little one will ask to call his Papa just because he misses him.  When I don't know the answer to a question, my oldest will say, "Let's call Papa.  He'll know the answer."  And he always does.  

I am so thankful that my children can experience a relationship with my father that is so very different than the one I had with him as a child.  When I watch them together, I am so proud of the man that my dad has worked to become.  I am so grateful that my boys will have one more example of a good man in their lives.  That has been the most wonderful surprise of all.

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