Yesterday morning as we were waiting for the bus Lilykate looked up at me and said, “Mom, I like Daddy the best.” Totally shocked by her words, I simply replied, “What?" “I love daddy the most”, said Lilykate. Ouch…. I’m not going to lie those words stung a little bit. Who am I kidding, those words stung big ole bunches…. like one hundred bees had attacked me out of nowhere while I was having the perfect picnic on a gorgeous seventy degree afternoon. I told her that she didn’t have to choose who she loves more, that it’s not a competition. We both love her so much and nothing will change that. Her reply, “I know Mom but I just like Dad more.” And then the bus came. She hugged me tight, gave me a kiss, and looked me in the eye and said, “Mom, I love you so much! Do you know how much?” And with a twinkle in her eye she said, “To the moon and back!” “Hey that’s my line” I replied. She just laughed and hopped onto the bus.
That got me thinking about my relationship with my Dad. We have a close relationship now and had a close relationship while I was growing up and I wonder how I expressed that when I was kid. I wonder if I hurt my Mom’s feelings by saying things like, “I love daddy the most”? I’m sure I did, but in all of my 34 years of life I’ve never even thought to ask her about it. But the more I thought about it, it was my Mom who made it possible for me to have the connection with my dad. She was the one who allowed and helped the nurturing process to take place. When I was little my dad often traveled during the week for work so she took care of us at home while he was away. When he came home she made sure that we got to spend that quality time with our daddy that we needed. She made sure that Dad took each of “his girls” on daddy/daughter dates to show us how a girl should be treated. My mom set up the backbone at home while she worked full-time. She provided a loving and nurturing environment for my sisters and I to thrive in. She also provided relentless support to my Dad.
Likewise, I think I contribute to Matt’s success at being a good dad by providing a good foundation for the girls while he is away a work. I’m far from being perfect….so far from the perfect mom….but what I try to do is show them love and provide them a safe environment for learning, mistakes, and growth.
Regardless of my contributions, Matt is an incredible father to our daughters. I don’t want to discount the amazing dad that he is to both Lilykate and Violet. He is patient and kind. And watching them interact I fall more in love with him each day.
Last night my parents came over for pizza and games (Matt had to work). The girls and I had a blast hanging out with Nana and Popi. We were thankful to have him back after a long tax season. We played our Memory game and just had fun spending time together as a family. I love my parents so much and am so thankful that they moved cross country to be close to each of their daughters and their grandchildren. They totally rock... both of them!
After we said our goodbyes I got the girls ready for bed and Lilykate looked at me and said, “Mama, you know how close you are to Popi? And how you are his girl? Well I’m daddy’s girl and it’s special, but Mama I love you so much, I love you to the moon and back”! And with those words at that moment I totally got it. She’s a daddy’s girl, just like me. And you know what I’m completely okay with that.