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Adoption Blog: Improv Mom
The father-daughter relationship is breathtaking to behold. There's nothing like seeing my husband, Tony, and our three-year-old daughter, Beth, deep in discussion about the finer points of bubble blowing or the merits of pooping on the potty. (Yes, we're still knee-deep in poop talk around here.)
Tony has been building this loving, meaningful bond from the moment he first held a screaming, red-faced Beth in the Indiana hospital just a few hours after she was born. When she was an infant, he actively, if somewhat nervously, participated in her bathing, feeding, and changing. He also jumped in to cuddle, play, and read to her any chance he got.
Now that Beth is three, daddy-daughter time is an everyday, yet far from ordinary, experience for everyone involved. After all, where there's Daddy, there's excitement. Tony getting home from work and taking over is an especially thrilling time for Beth -- and Mommy. (Can you hear my long exhale of liberation from here?) They tell each other about their days, then might dig for worms (and take a bath) or make a tent in the living room. Regardless of the adventure, the evening always ends with the pair going into Beth's room, where Tony reads Beth book and regales her, yet again, with the story of how he missed the school bus when he was a little boy.
The daddy skill that amazes me most is Tony's knack for turning the most challenging moments with Beth into a magical time. Like when Beth has to do her breathing treatment for her asthma. With Daddy, the struggle to secure the "Bubbles the Fish" mask on Beth's face suddenly disappears. Presto! It's snuggle time as father and daughter watch the (same) television episode of The Fresh Beat Band (you know the one, where Kiki's violin goes missing?).
I think back to when Tony and I first began talking about domestic adoption. At the time, we were coming from a surreal place of pain and loss, and Tony wasn't sure adoption was something he wanted to do. However, the more he examined it, the more he came to believe that adoption was just another loving way to create a family. Someone could not care for her baby, we could. Loving a child to pieces -- what could be more natural than that?
As I listen to Tony charm Beth into spitting out her big-girl fluoride toothpaste instead of swallowing it, I know that for Tony, and me, our pain is long gone. I hear Tony say, in his best British accent, "Good show!" to which Beth responds, in her best British accent (which tends to have a Southern drawl), "Thank you, poo poo Daddy!" and I'm grateful that I get to bear witness to their miraculous relationship every day.
To the magic man in both of our lives -- Happy Father's Day, Tony!
Let's hear it for the dad or father-figure in your child's life!
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