Sunday Post 20: Would you do it again?

Tonight as I was putting Stephanie to bed, and with tears in her eyes, she asked me, “Dad, if you had known that mom would get cancer and die, would you  have still married her?”

It’s interesting what the kids think about – especially at bedtime.  I wonder if she’s pondered that question before or if it just came to her tonight.

“That’s easy,” I replied – my eyes beginning to fill like hers.

“I would absolutely have married her even if I’d known she as going to die from cancer.  There are two reasons why.

First, your mom gave me the best 18 years of my life.  I would not trade those years for anything.  We laughed and had so much fun together.  And loved each other so much.  I’d never experienced that sort of love before.

Second, your mom and I had three amazing girls and you wouldn’t be our Stephanie if you weren’t made up of half me and half your mom.  You’re special because of the parts of us that make you up.  I wouldn’t trade you for anything.”

And my answer is true.  If given a choice – turn in the happy memories and be pain-free or keep the memories and suffer – I’d pick the latter any day.

The Daddy Handbook

The Handbook (It's in my hand)

Posted by Danny

For years I have carried the Daddy Handbook.  It’s invisible – therefore, it’s always on me. One day a few years back I was quoting from it as we were walking out of Circuit City.  An older gentleman overheard our conversation.  He smiled at me and looked at the girls with a serious face, “I have that book too.  Everything in it is true.”

The girls say there’s an invisible Little Girl’s Handbook, but I don’t believe them.

Tonight I was putting Stephanie to bed.  I told her I loved her.  She said, “I love you more.”  I said, “That’s impossible.”

“Na Uh.”

“It is impossible, and I’ll tell you why.  Look (I pulled out the handbook and flipped it open).  It says right here in the Daddy Handbook on page 548, second paragraph:  Daddy’s always love their daughters more than their daughters love them. If it’s in the handbook honey, it is true.”

“Well I have the Little Girl Handbook and it says:  Girls love their daddy’s more than the daddy’s love their girls.  Page 14.  That paragraph.”  She pointed to her small book.

“Well Stephanie, look here on page 799, the last page of the Daddy Handbook.  Do you see what it says?  It says:  Page 14 in the Little Girl’s handbook is hogwash.  Do not believe anything on that page It’s just not true.”

“Well there’s a secret page in the Little Girl’s handbook that says:  Page 14 is true even if the Daddy Handbook says it is not true. And you don’t know the number of the secret page.”

“Yes Stephanie.  But look.  Down here at the bottom of page 799:  The secret page of the Little Girl’s Handbook has some mistakes.  The main one is about the Daddy Handbook not being true. Disregard the information on that page.”

“Daddy, what does disregard mean?”

“Don’t worry about it Boo.  I love you the very most.  Goodnight.”

Bringing the Music Back

Posted by Danny

Our nightly ritual for bed for Michelle and Stephanie is reading a book and saying our prayers.  After we prayed tonight, it dawned on me that a very important part of our routine had been lost.  We used to sing a song every night after prayers.  When Lisa got sick, we stopped singing.  I’d thought about it before, but just didn’t have it in me to sing.  I still just stare at the cross during hymns at church, unable to participate as I used to because the emotions just take over.  Today as I was riding to work, I cried to Earth, Wind and Fire’s song “September”.  You know something’s wrong with you when you cry to “September”.  It is not an emotional tune!  What is it about music?

I began to recall our favorite bedtime tunes:

“Frogs Jump, caterpillers hump (hang with me here), worms wiggle, bugs jiggle, rabbits hop, horses clop, snakes slide, seagulls glide…”  My mom taught it to me when I was a kid.  I however added my own flare – kids sitting on my stomach as I hopped, wiggled and jiggled them as the verses moved on.  My favorite was near the end “deer leap” – I’d say dear and then close my eyes and count to 15 or 20 in my head, not moving a muscle.  Then I’d lunge my hands toward their bellies in a surprise attack. They’d get so nervous during that 15 seconds that I was afraid one day I’d get peed on.  I can remember the same anxious pit in my stomach when my dad would pull a similar stunt on me.

Another favorite song was in two parts – it combined a strong allelujah chorus with the verses “Jesus Loves Me” and “Amazing Grace”. Another that tears me up.  Of course we’d sing the Bologna song too:

My My My Bologna has a first name

It It It It’s O S C A R

An old YMCA favorite.

It made me sad that the music was gone.  So, I decided to pull out a golden oldie from my Bible School days:  Ah la la la la, la la  le lu jah followed by verses that you make up:  Scratch another back scratch a back next to ya, or tickle under arm under arm next to ya.

There was a bit of laughter, although Stephanie refused to participate until we got through the under arm verse.  Sometimes we may sing and cry all at the same time.  But I think it may be time to bring that tradition back.

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