A child during the time of segregation, Daddy came of age in the cotton fields of Louisiana. His family was sharecroppers, working dusk to dawn but owning little. There were two things he always wanted growing up – a BB gun and a bicycle. Looking at him zipping down the block my heart is filled with joy.
Yes Daddy, dreams really do come true…
The kicker is he didn’t just buy one bicycle – he needed two. That way he could have variety, and of course so a companion could join in the fun. You know I couldn’t wait for us to go out for a spin!
Y’all this was the funniest experience I’d had in years! Daddy came out on his bike wearing about 50 reflectors – on his shoes, socks, shirt, helmet and a special armband. Not to mention the blinking lights on the front and back off the bike. No one was going to miss us because of course I had all that too! People must have wondered if we had gotten lost from the parade.
Or perhaps, they wondered if they could join us. I’m telling you, Daddy just radiated happiness. For a few precious moments he got to be a kid again, fulfilling the dreams of an 8-year-old that looked around the cotton field and dared to dream for more. I was filled with such pride, and a profound sense of gratitude that I was there to share in the moment.
He asked me this morning what I thought the difference was between a Father and a Dad. I told him let me think on it for a moment because I wanted to get it just right. I felt it, but I couldn’t quite say it until a few moments ago.
But now I know for sure, Daddies are born from a place in the heart. They transcend time and place, having the great gift of being with you even when they are long gone. They are the memory makers and magicians, creating legacies that live on for generations. They are the emissaries of God’s love, and they spell it T-I-M-E. I guess the difference between a Father and a Daddy for me is that Dads go beyond the perfunctory, entering a treasured space that lasts a lifetime.
We sometimes get confused that providing the basics – food, shelter and clothing – will earn us a place of affection in our children’s hearts. But that is what we’re supposed to do, and on a good day that generates profound gratitude. However, affection is formed in the every day. It’s the tuck in at night, or the attendance at the school play. It’s the hug after a hard day, or a bike ride on a hot summer’s eve. It’s in the little things that separate the Fathers from the Dads.
We celebrate Moms a lot – and Lord knows we deserve it. But little girls like me know for sure, its Daddy who rocked our world. He taught us how to give and receive love, to expect the best for ourselves, and to offer the same to others. They loved us before we knew ourselves and still love us now that we both know more.
If you had a Dad, I know you feel the same way. Let’s celebrate the men in our lives who love us every day, the best way. Leave a shout out in the comments celebrating your Daddy for his wonderful gift of love in your life.
Loving on Me as I Love You! ❤