There’s a general rout in our house the minute Big Friend walks in the door at the end of the day. He arrives, work bag in hand, tall and steady and oh, so manly. And the three women of the house, in various stages of woman- toddler- and baby-hood, who have steamed in a bath of estrogen all day, flock to Big Friend’s testosterone-oozing side.
Bag still in hand, shoes halfway off his feet, he’s subjected to demands (pick me up and go ______), stories (today we went to _____), complaints (Mama said I couldn’t ______), and requests (can you take the kids so I can ______). Thrown into this whirlwind world of women and end-of-day frayed nerves and puppy dog-ish frenzy, Big Friend has one inexplicable response: A smile.
There’s a whole bunch of World’s Greatest Dad paraphenalia floating around out there. I eye it suspiciously, because I don’t think it’s a fair contest. Unless all of those “Greatest” accoutrements end up orbiting Big Friend like a kitschy asteroid belt, I’m of the general opinion that they’ve landed in the wrong hands.
In our humble little world, Big Friend is certainly the Greatest Dad.
He’s without complaints when it’s bathtime and I’m picking up the kitchen and he’s singlehandedly slaying dragons who want to climb up his arm the second a drop of water touches her head and beasts who refuse to give up her mermaid “tail” for working human legs even after all water has long since drained away.
He’s without electronic devices to distract his attention when left to wrestle squirming, screeching bodies that alternately beg and refuse to be tickled.
He’s without a side-kick to help when one child NEEDS to go potty in the middle of a swim lesson, and he’s left to dangle one girl from the armpits who demands to be allowed to lick the men’s room floor while the other girl gets stuck halfway in and out of a wet bathing suit and plasters bits of damp toilet paper all over her naked bum and legs. The bathing suit, of course, is the kind that criss-crosses in the back, stumping all fathers everywhere and for all time as to how those particular female garments actually work.
Little Friend, Little One and I are so very Happy this Father’s Day that the world’s greatest dad in our life is so indispensable, irreplaceable, and perfectly suited for dealing with us in all our glory. Amen and God bless the man.
That’s why, even when we’re tempted to cling to him every waking second to demand his time, attention, jokes, tickles, hugs, and kisses, we all acknowledge the Daddy Sanctuary: a locked bathroom door behind which he’s allowed all the quality time he needs with only his electronic devices to keep him company.
Happy Father’s Day, World’s Greatest Big Friend!