Imagine a world where everything is Daddy. When Asher wakes in the morning, the first word he says as I come into his room is, “Daddy!” and he points to the door. He will crawl over to our bed and climb in next to Brian, lying his head on his shoulder, all the while chanting, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” like a mantra. If Brian is taking a shower, Asher will sit at the bathroom door and pound on it. If that isn’t effective in making Brian appear, he will sit and wait for him all the while chanting, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” like a mantra. When the door opens and Brian emerges, Asher is in Daddy’s arms and the world is all right again.
Asher will play in the bedroom while Brian gets ready for work, follow him out to the kitchen, and watch with wary eyes while Brian gets his computer together and gets ready to leave. Then Brian gives him a good-bye hug, and the tears begin. Once I unlatch Asher from his clinging to Brian’s neck, Brian will head off to work, and Asher will point for me to take him to the sliding glass door so he can watch Daddy walk down the hill. (This morning he even forsook his beloved bananas (that’s na-na in Asher-ese), and we had to move his high chair over so he could watch while he was eating his breakfast.) Once Brian has disappeared behind buildings, Asher will stand at the door for the next 10 minutes or so while pointing down the hill, all the while chanting, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” like a mantra. When I finally distract him with either breakfast or toys, then Daddy is forgotten, but only momentarily.
Throughout the day, Asher will periodically go to the front door, try to reach the doorknob and call out for “Daddy!” I try to explain to him that Daddy will be home soon, but he has no concept of what that means, and the mere mention of Daddy will bring him to even more panicked tears. He wants Daddy to come home NOW, and he will continue to stand there all the while chanting, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” like a mantra. But ahhhh…you should see Asher’s face light up when he hears the key in the lock, and he will come toddling from wherever he is in the house to meet Daddy, all the while chanting, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” like a mantra.
From the time Brian gets home until bedtime, Asher will follow Brian wherever he goes, and he revels in any attention Daddy gives him. He loves the evenings where he and Daddy go out to run errands together, and he will wave bye-bye to me with an excitement that is immeasurable. However, should I even leave a room with Asher while Brian is home, Asher will hold his hand out for Brian over my shoulders, and cry, all the while chanting, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” like a mantra. As the evening wanes, and bedtime approaches, Asher will trot off with Daddy to get his jammies on, but at last, he finally reaches for me and not Daddy when he returns for his nightly nursing. Once he’s finished nursing and his teeth are brushed, it’s time for night-night (that’s nigh-nigh in Asher-ese) kisses and hugs, and if he manages to get his arms around Brian, he won’t let go. He will lay his head on Daddy’s shoulder and look at me as if to say, “I dare you to try and take me away.” If perhaps, I am the one to put him down for bed that night, Asher will scream the whole way down the hall, and reach desparately for Brian, all the while chanting, “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” like a mantra.
I am constantly amazed at the picture I have of how God must delight in his children when I watch Brian and Asher, and I long to see Asher one day delight in his Heavenly Father the way he does in his Daddy. Watching Asher’s longing for his father makes me love both my “men” even more. For Asher to be so in love with his daddy…for him to miss Brian while he’s at work…for him to relish the attention and the time Brian spends with him is the way it should be. Mind you, it’s not always easy for me when I spend hours every day with Asher, and as soon as Daddy gets home, I am suddenly forgotten. I have my days where I look at Brian and think, “What’s so special about you?” Well, let me tell you….Brian’s sheer joy of living, his ability to see things through the eyes of his child and his constant amazement with his son is infectious. I could fill pages telling you the wonderful things about him. What’s so special about Brian? Everything! And in Asher’s world, it’s enough that Brian is just “Daddy”.
I think last night was one of the sweetest nights we’ve had. Asher was jammied, fed, brushed and whatever else he needed, and as I started to take him to bed, he began to cry for Brian. Instead of giving him a hug and letting me continue my journey to Asher’s room without Daddy, Brian came with us, and all 3 of us lay down on the daybed in Asher’s room and snuggled. Asher lay between us, his head on my chest and his body on Brian’s, his treasured bunny and bear in each arm, and he would turn his head to look at each one of us and smile, his enormous brown eyes delighting in the presence of both his parents. As Asher’s rhythmic breathing soon told us he was asleep, Brian and I couldn’t get up…we couldn’t lose this moment together with our son. It was wonderful…it was perfect. But as we finally got up and Brian gently lay Asher in his crib, I watched the two of them and smiled at the picture…and all the while “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” echoed in my head like a mantra.