I remember, as a young girl, my mother doing everyday things for Daddy, because Daddy was special. When he came home from work as an airplane pilot, Mom would have the house clean, supper prepared, the table set, and each of us six kids eagerly anticipating Dad’s arrival.
Mom would rush around like a giddy teenager in love, dabbing on a bit of Heaven Scent (Dad’s favorite perfume) as she scurried about. I remember so clearly her always preparing one of “Dad’s favorite” meals. I don’t know if that was her intent, but she was teaching us kids not just by words, but by actions, too.
As I got older, I would leave little “goodbye notes” that I sneaked into Dad’s flightbag the night before he left on a trip. Sometimes, my sisters and I would slip downstairs at 4:30 am and make him a simple breakfast of eggs and toast. Dad would send us postcards from his different destinations, even though we didn’t receive them until days after he had returned home. There were times when we all went with him on a three-day flight to someplace far away and exciting. Everything Mom did centered around pleasing Dad and making him happy. Mom’s little gestures of love did much more than make a happy husband. She was making happy little wives and a happy home, as well.
Today, I am now a wife and mother. I find myself doing these same things; and my daughters are following in my steps, learning from me, and perpetuating the tradition of love. Laura, our first child, now four-and-a-half years old, is constantly trying to buy this thing or that for her Daddy, because she knows “it is his favorite.” When we go to the local country store, she always gets two fireballs—one for her and one for Daddy.
As I write this, we are in the last month of our three-month stay in Honduras. The kids and I take a daily trek into town early, because it gets hot here well before noon. By the time we get to town, the kids are hot and thirsty, so they occasionally get to pick out a box drink from the store’s cooler. Needless to say, they don’t have all the commodities here that we do in the States. Well, Laura picked out the Honduran version of a Starbucks frappuccino that looked as if it had been sitting there for a couple of years. As we paid for it, she eagerly opened the straw and started slurping it down. “Mmm, this is sooo good,” she said, as we walked home discussing iguanas, whale sharks, airplanes, and other various and random subjects. Then, out of the blue, she stopped sucking on her straw and stated, “I am going to save the rest for Daddy and surprise him when he gets back from diving, because frappuccino is Daddy’s favorite.” When we got home, Laura carefully hid her drink box in the fridge, so Daddy couldn’t find it, and then went to take her afternoon nap. While she was sleeping, I tested the drink to make sure it was palatable. I gagged and spit it into the sink, quickly guzzling some orange juice to kill the taste. When Nathan got home, I warned him of what was to come. Laura woke up soon after and hurried excitedly to get Daddy’s treat. While she was busy making sure his eyes were closed for the surprise, I rushed to pour him a generous serving of OJ. The look of happiness, pleasure, and joy on Laura’s face as she watched Nathan choke down the drink was priceless. My girl’s Daddy is her knight in shining armor, and that is how it should be. My mother’s example is bearing fruit.