After a long day at work, I come home weary, change, wash up, and then it happens. I quietly stroll into Getty’s room and see her lying peacefully in bed. The feeding pump softly churns. The vent whispers and hums. I admire her steady rhythmic chest rise and fall. She is content and healthy.
I feel a subtle sense of gratitude to all those who took the time and effort to provide all the specialized things Getty needs just to be with us. More importantly, I appreciate that Kate has delivered Getty yet another good day.
She has recently awaken from her nap, and she watches her animated shows intently. On occasion, she hoots and giggles at her show. I take a moment to stand behind her and just listen.
It’s as if she’s talking to the characters, laughing at the silly things they do, maybe singing with them. Sometimes, she belts out a holler, echoing through the entire house. Maybe she’s trying to tell them what to do, with sass. She’s good at that.
SMA has robbed her of the oral skill to form clear words. It has robbed all of us of truly hearing what she has to say. Honestly, that pains me at times, but I try not to dwell on it. I look right past her limitations and see a beautiful little girl. I delight in her chirps and take fatherly pride in her bellows. “The kid’s got lungs!” I think to myself.
I get close and slowly inch my face into her view. Her eyes dart to meet mine, and the whole of her face beams with a genuine and loving smile. She can’t say, “Daddy’s home!” — but she can.
I give her smoochies all over and provide the hugs I’ve been saving up. I move her arms and legs about, clap her hands, have her pat my cheeks and honk my nose. She laughs and laughs and laughs.
I settle her down and back away. Her eyes and squeals insist we “Keep going!” We give it a few more go ’rounds, and love it!
These are the kinds of moments that warm our hearts and invigorate our souls. These are the little things SMA Dads do.
Cherishing, laughing, playing, kissing, bonding, and loving through it all — these are the things Dads do.
Happy Father’s Day!