I really love being able to stay home with Ainsley. We are very blessed to be able to have one of us not working to focus on our family. Today, I'd like to take this time to go over the top 10 things about my job by which I am continually amazed.
10. Getting to wake up in the morning (even the early morning) to the sound of my name.
"Dada? Daadaaaaa? DADA!"
9. Finding the new messes around the house. The picture sums it up pretty well. It's just a sign that Ainsley is exploring the frontier around her, and it's maddening to constantly clean, but these moments always make me laugh.
8. When Ainsley counts. She counts to five pretty well, but she may skip some of the numbers to get to five...or repeat "one" a couple of times.
7. Watching Ainsley "twirl." I've heard about this phenomenon ever since "You've Got Mail" and only in the last couple of months have I seen this in action. She's pretty good at it, but occasionally she'll get dizzy and fall down.
6. When she imitates something she hears on television. Her first example was "touchdown" which was touching for me, but yesterday she said, "Shut up, Dwight." when The Office was on. It was funny and horrifying.
5. Working through her new words like Open, which is pronounced "Oppy" and nice, which is pronounced "Neeeeece."
4. Making her laugh. The most genuine method of making her laugh is doing something that hurts myself or tripping, but the easiest way is tickling her, which is way more fun.
3. Watching her dance. I covered this one recently, but she literally dances to every piece of music imaginable. It's good to see her dance because it's a small way of knowing that she has joy in her heart, and I pray I do nothing but encourage her to keep dancing for the rest of her life. I'm sure her Mama will teach her a few new moves other than the booty dance.
2. Reading to her and with her. In the mornings she wants to have me read to her, so we run through 8-10 different books over the course of an hour. In the afternoon she wants to read those books to me.
Ainsley will approach me much like a college professor approaches a podium. She stands up straight, looks me in the eye, and tells me she is preparing to read a book by holding it out (not up, which is the signal for me to read it to her). She then commences her lecture to her audience on the Mouse who ran up the cup, across the table, through the shoe and into the hole to get away from the cat. Riveting.
1. Getting to love on her. Ainsley is a very independent little girl, but when she gets tired or bumps her head, she needs to be held and reassured.
A girl I once knew said that tucking your child into bed is one of the best things about being a parent, and I haven't taken that privilege for granted. It's been one of the best ways to love on my daughter when she'll let me.
My list isn't glorifying or romanticizing parenthood, it's how it actually is for me. There are days where I feel frustrated, but something always happens to ground me back to the very real joy of being a daddy. It's been the best job I've ever had and it's a job that I will hold for life.
The connection between a father and daughter is special, and I will always honor that relationship, whether it is between me and my daughters or any other.
Have a great Wednesday.