Jesi had been going through a phase where she definitely wasn't in to dear old dad. Hugs and kisses were hard to come by. Trying to be cute with her was met with raised eyebrows and a scornful look. It was hard for papa to deal with the fact that he wasn't everything to his baby girl. Happily that has started to change over the past few weeks. More hugs, more looks of endearment, fewer "Dad is a moron" moments.
This morning I had one of those precious experiences I will treasure always. Nothing big, but oh so special. Elli was having a rough night (lots of those lately!). She was up from about 5am, hollering and generally making it difficult for mom and dad and the boys to sleep. (The other kids rooms are situated so that they can sleep through Elli a bit easier.). I went down to help her. Changed her diaper. Danced with her. Tucked her back in. I also turned on the bathroom fan between her bedroom and the boys' as a white noise maker. Didn't help much. She is still hollering away.
When I came back upstairs, I noticed that someone was in the bathroom. A quick bed check let me know it was Jess. I sat down outside the bathroom and waited for her to come out. She opened the door and smiled a big, sweet, uniquely Jesi smile at me. She didn't say anything, just started to go to bed. I held out my arms and asked for a hug. She gave me a huge one. We sat there together for a couple of minutes before I said, "I could stay here forever and be happy!" "Really?" She asked. "Yes." Then she said, "Thanks for the McDonald's yesterday." (I brought home fast food for dinner.). What a funny thing for her to think of right then. But the whole experience was so tender, it melted my heart. I gave her a princess carry in to bed, tucked her in again and said goodnight.
I am so grateful for the little moments that define life as a father. President Gordon B. Hinckley once said that life is like a train ride. Much of it is pretty ordinary. The view out the window can get monotonous. But occasionally, a vista will open up that will absolutely take your breath away. The secret is to persevere in between the vistas so you can enjoy the beauty of those magnificent views. (I am very loosely paraphrasing.) I think there is nothing in this life that provides so many vistas as being a father. How blessed am I to have fatherhood times eight!