She was supposed to be doing chores. The fact that she was half-finished, with a lot of work left to do, was typical. Telling her once, twice, or even 3 times usually doesn’t do the trick. We always end up snapping at her to get her going, and she always ends up sobbing (her fault of course!).
With my tongue pressed to the roof of my mouth and my lips forming the first syllable of her name, I paused as I sat on the back deck trying to finish a way overdue writing project.
Before I barked her name and demanded that she get back on track, I took in the moment. As she glided across the lawn, drenched in warm afternoon sun, she glanced up every-so-often to see if I was watching her. Fortunately I clued in and kept my eyes fixed on her and each of her movements. I’m so glad I did and resisted the urge to get work done.
The smile that crossed her face each time she saw that I was watching her dance, spoke words louder than any human voice could muster-
“Do you see me?”
“Do you think I’m beautiful?”
“Am I the apple of your eye?”
No earthy force could wipe the smile off my face. From the depths of my heart poured adoration that only a father knows. So I let her get away with skimping on chores for a moment. The Good Lord knows that I’ve blown moments like this way more than I’ve gotten them right. I’ve allowed details, task lists, and work load to clutter up the beauty.
She needs to get her chores done. There’s no question. But I need to take a breath every now and then and soak in the beauty of a moment with my baby girl.
Fathers, I ask this out of a deep heart who has so much growing to do:
“Is your little girl the apple of your eye?” If the answer is “yes” here’s a follow-up question- “Does she know it?”
I can personally answer the first question with confidence. My daughters are the apple of my eye, hands down. The second question stings a little. I’m kinda bad at letting them know this at times. I bet some of you are too.
Our work is never done as fathers. Especially if we have daughters. I’m learning to recognize moments where schedule, or task, or workload need to be paused. I think the driving force behind this, is the realization that someday the music will play but she’ll be grown up and not given to dance anymore.
Father’s, are you learning to stop and take in precious moments like this? Share your experience with us.