Thursday, November 13, 2008

This is one of my favorite pictures of Bobby - for several reasons. First, I love that smile. It's really what first attracted me to him - I told him it was his eyes - and they are beautiful - but really it was that smile: a little crooked, full of confidence, just about to emit something unexpectedly hilarious. In college he was usually the center of things - so full of energy, life and witty remarks that people just wanted to be near him.

In this picture, my daughters and my husband look like triplets (which makes me chuckle in and of itself) but to see the three of them together like that - so happy, natural, and united - it makes me see the past differently.

It's just that was so hard on Bobby during the "baby stage." I wanted and expected him to have the exact same skill set I did - I, a woman who bore the children, who was the oldest of six kids, who baby-sat nearly every day from age 12 to age 21 and then went on to become an elementary school counselor - I expected him to be right there with me - interperating our babies' cries and anticipating their every need (in addition to understanding mine). No wonder transition to parenthood was a little rocky! I never allowed him to transition (or myself, for that matter).

I know my husband is a great father, now. I am reminded of this by my two year old daughter who says incessantly, "I need my DADA." And by my four year old who reminds us all how big and strong Daddy's calf muscles are (that's a huge compliment in her world, by the way. Apparently only those with big calf muscles are capable of keeping the mean men away).

If only I could have seen ahead a little - maybe I would have been a little kinder; a little more patient. Looking at this picture I see though, how even then - in the midst of baby time - Bobby was an amazing father. My girls look so happy and safe - as though they are in best place of all, their Daddy's arms.