My husband recently returned from a work trip to Florida with two little yellow ducks for Mini Me and Miss Missy. Work trips are always hard on the kids but sometimes Daddy will surprise them with a little “I was thinking of you” present. As I came in Miss Missy’s bedroom to give her a little kiss goodnight, I saw her sweet little face asleep with her arms wrapped tight around that duck……with her arms wrapped tight around the neck of her dad, cause…let’s be honest….that’s really what this duck is all about. This little duck reminds her that she is loved….deeply….by her daddy. Who wouldn’t want a crazy, yellow duck!!!!
This duck reminds me of my own “duck” growing up. It was a teddy bear figurine that my dad had purchased in a little country store in North Carolina. But to understand…..let’s go back for a minute….
When I was a young girl, my dad wasn’t very involved in my everyday activities. My mom would buy me birthday presents and say that they were from my dad and he would smile, looking to see what he got me. I was a kid…but I wasn’t stupid. I knew my dad would have no clue what to get me or what I even liked. But, I was a daddy’s girl and I hung on his every word. I longed for anytime I could get alone with him, which wasn’t very often. My dad was traditional…he worked long, hard hours as a fire chief, and expected his wife to take care of everything “inside the house”. However, I think he neglected to see his true “calling” as a young father. His upbringing lacked the tenderness that my children get from their dad, and I believe that made it difficult for him to assume that he would really know how to be tender…he just struggled not to be rough. I think he neglected to see how vital he was to my upbringing. What he didn’t realize was that…I thought he hung the moon…=)
My birthday weekend, my dad was out of town. His dad was physically struggling and my dad had returned to his childhood home to help out. I will never forget that night when he returned home. He said, “hey…Tammi. I have a birthday present for you”, and handed me a brown paper bag. My mom, who was busy in the kitchen, came through to see what it was. I’m sure she was just as stunned as I was. From that bag, I pulled out the coolest bear figurine. My dad proceeded to tell me that he stopped off at our “family favorite ” antique store and picked it up for me. At the time, I was obsessed with teddy bear figurines and had started a collection on top of my dresser. I had NO IDEA that my dad even knew that. After thanking him, I ran to my room to find a place on my dresser for that bear, a huge smile across my face. My dad…remembered. =) My dad…thought of me….=) My dad doesn’t remember that bear or that memory….but I do. That bear found his way to my college dorm and later in my first born’s baby nursery.
My dad was the first “knight”, this princess ever met. He taught me to respect myself and desire the best. What about your princes and princesses? Do they have a knightly daddy? or A queenly mommy? As parents, we must constantly be aware of the genuine needs our children have for love and affection. Our children just want to be loved. To be cherished. To go to bed at night with happy memories of a childhood filled with yellow ducks and teddy bear figurines.