Happy Belated Father’s Day

One day you meet Mr. Wonderful.  He may be scowling as he brushes past you on his way out of the college cafeteria, but your heart pitter patters with some joyous skips just the same.  He undergoes the 15-point dating inspection check list and passes with unexpectedly flying colors.  You find yourself ruminating with wonder that someone that perfect really does exist.

Because he drinks Earl Grey tea.

Because he reads Michael Ondaatje’s poetry to you in the midst of a five-hour conversation.

Because he drives a sporty red car to the local 7-11 to treat you to a Big Gulp slushy.

Because he’s memorized every Duke basketball players key stats, including their college majors.

Because he directs one-act plays with a scowl, and a cup of tea, and a confidence that tugs magnetically on every organ in your body.

This love that begins as surprising fireworks ignites a consuming, long-burning bonfire between you.  You negotiate the steps to the altar.  You combine closets and pantries and magazine subscriptions at a common address.  You work out the nitty gritty (like the fact that while he loves Earl Grey tea you discover that you really don’t care one lick for the stuff) and accommodate this whole person you’ve harnessed beside you to pull through life.

Loving your husband is a head and heart summit.

Loving your kids is different.

Loving your kids is an instantaneous restructuring of DNA.  The “I love you” and “I forgive you” are as hard to separate from one another as a stamp mistakenly placed in the wrong corner of an envelope.  You just love them effortlessly.

So that’s when the love triangle begins: You love your husband.  You love your kids.  Your husband loves your kids.  Ergo…

Your love for him spelunks to new depths unimagined on the day you pledged “for better or worse.”

You still get annoyed when he leaves his dirty clothes on the bathroom floor.  You still get perplexed that despite his highbrow taste in tea, he couldn’t give one lick of preference between a microbrew and a can of Coors Light.  You still love that he pulls your feet into his lap for a foot massage at the end of a long day.  There’s still the negotiation of love between you.

But then you see this:

image courtesy of Heather Morrison Photographic Design

Your heart goes pitter patter with some joyous skips, and you couldn’t, just couldn’t, love him more.

You love him with a fierce pride over how good of a dad he is.

Because he drags himself out of bed when he hears “Daddy, daddy, daddy” breaking amidst sobs in the dark of night.

Because he builds Mermaid Kingdoms while wearing crowns of jewels.

image courtesy Heather Morrison Photographic Design

Because he draws a baby’s eyes to him the second she hears his voice.

Because he’s the father (and king, merman, rocker, diaper-changer, and Peter Pan) to your children.

Happy Belated Father’s Day, Big Friend.

With lifetime love,



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  1. Big Friend said:

    Thank you! This is really, really, wonderful. I couldn’t ask for a day to start better. A trip to the swing set with Little Friend and then getting this before my morning even gets started…thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I love you,
    Big Friend

    July 18, 2012
  2. Jo said:

    Well, I had a hard time finishing the read of this as I couldn’t see very well through the tears. I will never be able to thank you enough,James, for what you give to my granddaughters. The gift of your love for them will forever define and shape their lives in unexplainable, wonderful ways. If I had the power, I would bestow this kind of love to all wives and to all children.

    July 18, 2012
  3. Nancy said:

    Love the pictures and the oh so heartfelt and true tribute to Big Friend. I’m so happy that you guys are together. You definitely deserve each other and all the happiness you build together.

    July 18, 2012
  4. Faith said:

    It’s certainly a gift to our family to have you as a special member and to know that you are the loving man in my nieces life. Thank you “Big Friend”

    July 18, 2012
  5. Melissa said:

    What a blessed family, through-and-through. Those pictures are worth a thousand words… and your words could warm any heart. Glad you all have each other.

    July 18, 2012
  6. Cinde aka. "old friend" said:

    You bring smiles and joy to TX with your way of seeing life, your writing, photos, and precious life-giving stories! xo<3

    July 18, 2012
  7. Anna said:

    SO beautiful!!! You have such an amazing way with words, my friend!! Keep sharing :)

    August 30, 2012

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