Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Forever Daddy

Becoming a grandparent gives men a chance to be a dad again.

Watching Hannah, her nearly ten year old, red-headed and freckled daughter, play with her grandfather reminded Kimberly of how much she loved and appreciated the same man, her dad.

Back when she was her daughter’s age, Harold, her dad, never failed to tell her how beautiful she was. He pointed to each model, actress or newswoman on TV and in the magazines and made sure Kimberly saw that they also had freckles. He let his daughter know he saw beauty in what she thought were her physical imperfections. She was timid and shy, too, and dad encouraged her to push herself beyond the limits of where she had convinced herself she could never go.

He inspired her to stand before an audience and sing even though she wanted to run and hide behind the stage curtain. He spoke up and pointed out the truth about the boys she wanted to date and convinced her better choices would come along if she would just wait. He made her believe that she was important, worthy, and special, strawberry freckles and all.

As a child, Kimberly did not, could not yet, appreciate the time and effort her dad put into raising his children. It didn't occur to her that he might have been too tired to play puppets or watch the newest dance she had choreographed, or answer all the many questions she just had to ask right before bedtime.

But now, as he spends time with Hannah, Kimberly can see, and treasures, how much her dad continues to impart the same positive influence on those he loves. She sees that her daughter is just as important to him as she was when she was his little girl, and for that, she loves him even more.

Whether they are working together on an oil painting, making wooden toys or capturing on video even more footage of Hannah dancing through the house, Grandpa, still tireless, spends hours with his granddaughter. There was nothing Harold would rather do than be with her, to tell her she’s pretty and praise her talents and accomplishments.

Spending time with his granddaughter reminds him of time spent in years past with his little Kimberly. More than once he’s been known to “accidentally” call Hannah by her mother’s name, always just loud enough for Kimberly to hear.

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