When I got older, my dad moved up north. It was difficult keeping the same relationship that we once had, especially since neither one of us like the phone. In the summer, I would go visit him, but it was hard not having a constant connection with him. I, too, was busy- with school, church youth group, a boy named TJ.
When i got even older, summer visits continued with a few hours here and there at holidays. We both still hated the phone. My life got even busier with marriage, teaching, and then children. Jaelynne loved going to visit my dad up north. Although when the girls were babies, they would cry at the sight of my dad.
Today, my dad gave up his job, the rolling hills, and his quiet country living and moved close to me. I am shocked what a difference to me it makes. It is amazing to have day to day connections. Instead of talking about the big stuff during summer visits, we can talk about the day to day stuff. My girls love seeing their Beepa so much and are getting used to just having him around and stopping by or seeing him at the farmers market. The boys haven't cried at the sight of my dad. . . yet. And i don't think they will. They know him. They know his voice and they know that he feeds them. We can borrow things from each other and pass them back and forth. He can stop over with amazing lemon blueberry bread when i am having a rough day. He can get weekly snuggles from his snuggle bunny and snuggle bug and attend things like gymnastics, the girls' school events, swimming lessons, graduation, sing-a-longs, or soccer games. He can listen to Jaely read a book, play babies with Camryn or push the stroller weekly. He can meet us at the park, pizza hut, Lewis Farms, or school. And the roles have seemed to switch a little. I can encourage him to get out and meet people by pointing out different activities and events that are happening around us. I can keep an eye on him and visit or check in on him if I haven't heard from him in awhile- instead of him being stranded alone in a snow storm without power or a charged cell phone and down trees blocking his driveway.
I am so thankful that my children are really going to know their Beepa and are creating fond memories with him. . . and I am glad that he is a part of my day-to-day life.
I love you Daddy-O!