I remember when I first met Daddy D. When his smile or an unexpected compliment to me would make me light up and grin until my cheeks hurt. How I loved to watch him fix things while working his summer job doing maintenance. His sense of humor and how he made everyone laugh (and groan) often.
We got married. We had kids. Lots of kids. And somewhere in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life those moments of random pleasure in my husband’s demeanor got fewer and farther between. Occasionally there are those brief glimpses if I remember to look for them.
Right now we are busy. Crazy busy. With the start of school comes cub scout meetings, church commitments and of course Daddy D’s ever present volunteer fireman status. Add to that moving the six of us into a new house and all of the work that entails, lately we have been very physically and emotionally depleted.
The other day on Daddy D’s day off we painted the trim in the little boyz room. Well, navy paint over white doesn’t go on very easily. Hours and hours, coats and coats into the project the day had gotten away from us. My best friend came over for her standing Wednesday night down time and our house was in chaos. Her and Daddy D went out and got McDonalds drive-thru and brought it back for the family. All the while I stayed in the room painstakingly touching up places where the painters tape had bled through.
The six of them sat down to dinner in the kitchen. Our new house, sans carpets, is echoey still and I could hear the conversations as I painted. And then it happened. Nate, our third son who has sensory issues, had had about all he could take. After a day at pre-K and a rather tumultuous afternoon he was at his wits end. He was trying to open that dang toy that comes in the Happy Meal and was not succeeding. So his very helpful older brother leaned over and applied pressure to both sides of his toy bag and made it pop. Nate was a wailing, screaming, crying mess. The noise coupled with frustration was the straw that broke the camels back.
I listened as Daddy D tried to reason with him, telling him to be thankful that his brother had helped him out. I listened as he tried to calm him down with words. None of it worked. But then I heard Daddy D take Nate into the living room with blown up sandwich bags and together they tried to make them pop. And in all his Daddy D glory he was all silliness, eventually breaking Nate down into laughter.
After awhile I realized that somewhere along the line I had stopped painting with the brush and my arm frozen in mid air. I also realized my cheeks were burning from smiling, my heart was pounding and my eyes had teared. In the day in and day out I sometimes forget. But in that moment I was reminded beautifully why I love this man.