I told my mom first. I mean, I'd been with Nick for four years and married for two of them, so it wasn't any secret that we'd been with one another, but I just couldn't fix my mouth to tell my Dad I was pregnant. That's the burden of Daddy's Girls; no matter how old you are, no matter what you've done, you want to maintain that innocence.
For his sake. For yours.
So I let my mom break the news that Daddy was going to add the word Grand to his title. To say he was thrilled would be the understatement of life. I can barely describe the joy my father found in watching my stomach morph and shift. He got a kick out of seeing my unborn baby's foot tickle and stretch across my belly; he'd let out deep, bellyaching laughs when the baby stuck her little butt out, and especially when she'd poke him in the cheek when he'd hold his face next to my stomach. It was he who totally ganked my ultrasound picture of Mari he framed it and put it on the shelf in the living room so he could see it everyday. He also confiscated the tape and recorder I used to record my baby's heartbeat would just sit and listen to the incredibly fast thump, thurble for the longest stretches.
Papa Jimmy loved his Mari long before she made her debut. Lila, too. He'd hold the two of them in the palms of his thick hands and smell their necks and tickle them with his mustache whisper his sweet I Love Yous in their tiny little ears.
And now, he spoils them rotten much like he did to me when I was a kid. But he doesn't spoil them with stuff, though. Quite the contrary, Daddy gives my girls the best thing any man could ever give a girl his time. That precious gift comes on long morning walks to nowhere, the three of them exploring and feeding ducks at the local park. The gifts come, too, on bumpy drives in his pick-up truck to the gas station to play the lottery, and in his much nicer ride when he's visiting us here in Georgia and taking the girls somewhere special, like our local Carvel. They sit and eat soft serve vanilla and just laugh like they haven't a care in the world. Oh, how I love to see them laugh!
One of these days, we're going to be successful in our hard sell to get Papa Jimmy to move to Georgia. We need him closer. The five-hour drive is much too much. We want to walk down the hallway to see him. Yeah. For now, though, an in-person visit every few months and every-other-day phone calls have to do.
We also found a really cool tool on Grandparents.com that allows the girls to email personal voicemail messages to Papa, so that even when they're in school, Papa can hear their voices and get tickled by his granddaughters' antics. Last night, they recorded a special greeting for him to celebrate National Grandparents Day this coming Sunday. It was super-easy to do; all we had to do was call in to a special number (on the website), giggle, laugh, and say I Love You a million times into the phone, and then put his email addy into the website. Then voila! the giggle girls are in his email.
Want to hear Mari and Lila's special message to their papa? Click HERE.
And if you want to let the kids send a special message to their grandparents to celebrate National Grandparents day, or hip your parents to a great resource for grandparents looking for ways to bond and connect with their grandchildren, skip on over to Grandparents.com.
Happy Grandparents Day!