It's nice to be able to actually be with my father on such an occasion this year, although our celebration will be low-key today - he'll be spending a big chunk of his Father's Day being a good son and helping my grandmother get settled in to her new home. We'll have some time together with my sister this morning, at least, and even if we're not spending the day out gallivanting about town, I hope he has a wonderful Father's Day. Eric and I are so grateful to him for all he has done for us to help us transition to our new life. Mainly, letting us take over half of his house (plus the kitchen, in a seriously "baby-food-on-the-walls" kind of way) and all that comes with that: stinky diapers, nap schedules, the dog, the commandeering of his garage for our storage stuff. He has made this whole thing exponentially easier and we're lucky to have a man like him to rely on when we need him. Not only that, but it has been wonderful to watch him developing such a great bond with Ellie. She adores her Papa and I love to see them becoming such great buds. Thanks for all you've done for us, Dad!
Ellie and me with the man of the hour
Unfortunately, although I do get to be with my own dad this year, Ellie can't be with hers. Eric left this week for Jacksonville for Teach for America Institute, and will be gone until the end of July. It's lousy timing that his first (rather busy) weekend away happened to be Father's Day weekend, and there wouldn't even be a possibility of a visit. I know there will be many more Father's Days in the future, but I still wish we could be together as a family today.
But, since we cannot be together for Ellie and me to celebrate Eric and shower him with affection, I'll just have to talk him up a bit. It's the best I can do today!
Eric is such an extraordinary father. From before Ellie was born, when he would read to her so she could learn his voice; to the very first moment he saw her, when you could see the love wash right over his face; to every day as he watches with pride as she grows into her own little person and shows off her pictures to anyone that will indulge him - every step of the way, he has been an exceptional daddy to his little girl. He is so hands-on and is constantly involved in her care, with everything from the little things, like diapers and bath duty to the big things, like securing her health insurance and setting up her college fund. Seeing that boy I fell in love with 15 years ago tenderly caring for our baby girl has been one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. His voice is so gentle with her, unlike everything I have ever heard before, and it is the sweetest sound. He plays with her, he reads to her, he talks to her constantly, encourages her new pursuits, cheers her on as she succeeds and comforts her when she needs it. They have such a great bond and I just simply love the father that he is to Ellie.
Just a few pictures of many of Eric being an awesome dad to Ellie!
And all that is just in 14 short months. I can't wait to see how their relationship develops over time. As it is now, Ellie is far more her father than she is me. She has my blue eyes, yes, but both the rest of her face and her personality are pretty much all Eric. He's a really awesome person, so I can't say that I'm disappointed that we reproduced Eric: The Female Sequel. I'm excited to see if she continues to be like him as she grows and if they'll end up being two peas in a pod. I sure hope so - or, maybe Eric will have finally met his match!
Although I hate that we're not together today, I feel like it bears mentioning once again how insanely proud I am of Eric for what he's doing. He bravely left behind an "easy" life, filled with lawyer paychecks and an incredibly fun life in NYC because of how much he values time with his family. He knew that law would keep him away from his family for such long hours, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Unfortunately, he does have to work, so we do have to be apart sometimes - but in that case, he wanted to make sure what he was leaving us for was something fulfilling and worthwhile. He reached his decision so carefully and so thoughtfully, working so hard to balance his own needs with what is best for our family. And I think he has certainly succeeded. I think what he is doing will set such a great example for Ellie: to pursue your passions, to go out and make your mark on the world, that one can pursue riches other than money and lead a very happy and fulfilled life. His courage and convictions are just a couple more traits I hope Ellie inherits from her father.
I suppose that's enough mushiness for one Father's Day, and I'm not even sure all these paragraphs have effectively communicated my feelings about the father of my child. He is one of a kind, and I love that he is the father that Ellie will always have. She is one lucky little girl. We both are.
Eric, Happy Father's Day. I wish we were with you but you know that we love you so much and are so proud of you for what you're doing right now. We're celebrating you and thanking God for you today, whether we're together or not. I hope you have a wonderful day to yourself - go to a movie, go golfing, get some Mountain Dew, read a boring book about Economics or something - whatever makes you happy. You deserve an awesome day. We love you so much!
Eric and the two luckiest girls in the world.