I’m tiptoeing and watching tonight. Because he’s on the couch, with those two blue-eyed tinies that look like him but kind of look like me, too. When we were making out in the baseball stadiums of Tulsa, we’d joke and say “Let’s get married tonight! And then let’s have lots of babies!” And – blink – 12 years later, here they are. He’s reading Curious George, turning pages, a stack of worn and creased “Daddy-don’t-forget-to-read-this-one-too” books piled beside them.

It’s how every time they say, “Look at me!”, he’s already watching, that they are the centre of the room for him and he hardly misses a twirl, a made-up song or a wrestling match or a lame knock-knock-joke. (Knock knock. Who’s there? Banana yucky! Banana yucky who? Orange you gonna let me in, I have to go poop! *cue the dissolve into giggles*)

His son wears football jammies.  His daughter wears a pair of pink jammies that don’t fit her anymore. But she won’t stop wearing them, threadbare shorts, showing off legs that are thickest at the knee, because the shirt reads: “I <3 my Daddy.” For Christmas, she wanted to get him a matching jammie but I managed to talk her out of the pink pants. So she and Joe picked out blue plaid jammie pants and a plain grey t-shirt. We took it to a dumpy little store in the mall where they screen printed “I <3 My Tinies” onto it for $7.45 plus tax.

He wears it almost every night.

He carries her to bed like a princess with his boy tossed over his shoulder, fireman carry. They are tall, taller than me, when he carries them up there at the 6’5″ altitude, taking in the world from his angle. He blows raspberries onto his son’s stomach until they are both screaming with laughter. He carefully tucks all of the little girl toys, the Barbie accessories that somehow look absolutely minuscule in his hands, into the pink plastic playcase. He observes every ritual that they need – every kiss, every prayer, the order that blankets go onto the bed, which side Jarome Iginla (remember him?) gets tucked into, the all-important Blankie still around and the repeated drinks of water followed by dashes to the washrooms. He shushes and quiets, he says “Guys. We need to settle down.”

I like to give them this time, alone with him, sharing him only with each other. Father-love is a different thing than Mumma-love and they are swimming deep, filling their lungs with the smell of him for those nights when they are grown-up and missing his everyday presence but remembering his heartbeat thudding.

To me, love looks like him, stretched out big next to little bodies, making the mattress sag which rolls them right into his side like magnets.  It’s knowing that he is drawing letters and spelling words onto their backs with the lightest of back scratches, sowing love into their nerve endings with his calloused fingers.

It’s how he emerges from their darkened room smelling of their heavy sleep-breath and wet hair, blinking at the lamplight.  It’s how he grins and shakes his head when he says, “Man, Sarah-Lynn. Those babies you’ve given me….”

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In which He wants to know what he can do for you
In which listening well is part of life together
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  • What a wonderful post Sarah…love it ….

  • *sniff sniff* I think I have something in my eye. 😉

    Seriously, so sweet.

    It’s knowing that he is drawing letters and spelling words onto their backs with the lightest of back scratches, sowing love into their nerve endings with his calloused fingers. (Love this line the best.)

  • the Sooz

    Oh my goodness woman…you’ve got me sobbing. That was beautiful, just beautiful.

    • Well, cut yourself some slack. You’re flying solo right now, after all. 😉

  • Allison

    Absolutely beautiful! Perfect images created by your writing … that make me so happy for you, and cause my heart to pound as I draw up images of my husband reading to, and tucking in our young 3. Sigh. I love this … I am a new reader working to catch up a bit ….thank you for sharing your journey!

    • Nice to “meet” you, Allison. Thanks for popping in!

  • First of all Sarah, beautifully written (as all of your posts are but this one had an extra cherry on top!).
    Second, bed time is daddy time in this house too. Mainly because I love to give that to them and maybe a little bit because I am D-O-N-E by bedtime.

    • Yeah, that part didn’t quite fit but YES. You, too? Me, too.

  • Almost started crying . . .
    I love that you made matching PJ’s

  • Great post!

  • Abbie Kampman

    Love this.

    Your husband has a way with all kids, young and old. I still credit him for leading me back to the Lord in high school- and loving me despite my painful shy-and-awkwardness. You and Bri are my absolute favorites. Of all time. Thus is why he received an honorable front-row seat (with my parents) at my wedding (I still cannot believe he drove all the way across the state of Iowa, from Nebraska, to attend for a few hours!!). Thus is why each time I see a man towering above me, I think- “Oh how I miss that Bessey man”. Thus is why his big, booming voice echos in my mind as one that I will never forget- and one that brings me utmost joy. And for each of his wonderful qualities you have one equally unique and perfect to match or complement it. Oh how I miss you two. AND WHY OH WHY haven’t I met those tinies????

    • Love you so much, Absie. You’re very dear to our hearts.

  • Stephanie

    Wow. That was beautiful. Especially your last line (or his last line…you know what I mean).

    Father-love IS different…and so very important.

  • Saraevelyn

    So reminds me of my own husband.  How beautifully written this was.