A Few of My Favorite "Dad Moments"
1. Jared instinctively knew how to soothe and care for babies. I did not. It was something I had to learn and develop. He became my example and teacher. When Derrick and was just three days old, he cried and cried. Nothing I did calmed him down and I was exhausted. Jared took over and for hours walked with him until he fell asleep. This wasn't a one time thing. Jared loved the challenge of taking a crying, distraught infant and bringing back a peaceful, happy baby. He never got upset or frustrated.
I have cherished memories of seeing him holding a baby, looking straight into their eyes and softly singing to them. "Faithfully" from Journey was his go to song for each baby, but he also sang hours of Eagles, Dire Straits, John Denver, Beetles, and Pink Floyd, to name just a few. As a wife, there was nothing sweeter to witness and I would fall in love all over again. As a mother, I loved the affect his singing had on our children. Jared loved his time with his babies.
2. Jared taught the gospel like no other to his children! Scripture study was always an adventure when the boys were small. He would grab diapers & toys to signify the cities and various landmarks in the Book of Mormon. Bottles and pacifiers became markers for the Lamanites and Nephites. He taught on a level that we all understood. As the children progressed in age and knowledge, so did his teaching. I have often thought how lucky we are to have a dad who knows the gospel so well and has been blessed with the ability to make it come to life and have personal meaning for us as a family.
3. It is always a treat to see what Jared brings home from his grocery shopping excursions. As a husband, he saves me over and over in what is generally considered a "wifely" duty. He loves to grocery shop and does it well! As a father, he is very mindful of his children's "little life pleasures" and takes every opportunity to bring that "pleasure" home with him. Just the other day, knowing that Travis would be coming home for a few days, Jared bought some Reese's peanut butter chips so that I could make cookies for him. I didn't make the cookies, but Travis did take back his package of Reese's chips. From time to time, Dad will surprise Natalie with a can of oysters, a delicacy that both she and Jared enjoy. He often comes across foods that the boys have mentioned regarding their missions and can recall every detail about it and their experience with it. Going to the International Market Place with the kids and Jared is always a hilarious adventure. I will never forget the challenge of eating the pickled duck eggs (or whatever disgusting thing it was.)
4. Jared is like a little boy when it comes to the ocean. Some of my fondest memories are sitting on the beach watching he and his kids dissect seaweed for ocean life, build sand castles and forts, dig for sand crabs, and catch the waves. He loves the beach and has passed that passion down to his children. I have always thought that he is most content and happy when he is there. It was fun to see him come to life as he brought these things to life for his children and now for Molly.
4. I will never forget the "hair do's" that Jared so lovingly did for his daughters. He was particularly proud of his side and double pony tail styles. It is hilarious to hear the girls recall that memory, but at the time, Jared was performing a sweet act of service for me and for them. I am not sure what the specific reason why he needed to do their hair, but I do remember his willingness to do it, and his desire to express his creativity while doing it. Jared was so sweet and darling with his cherished, little girls.
5. It is a treat for me to listen to Jared and his adult sons talk. It usually encompasses only two subjects: 1) Recipes and Cooking questions, and 2) SPORTS! Sometimes when a son has called, an hour passes by and they are still discussing a particular dish or a particular team. He loves to talk with his boys!
These are only five "father" experiences, but they have sparked many more memories and thoughts. I realize that I have been greatly blessed to have a husband who anticipated and accepted the role of being a father. I have been blessed beyond measure for the kind of father he has been and continues to be. He takes his stewardship seriously, understanding it's sacred and eternal implications. He loves his children deeply. I know this.
I write that my children may know..............I love your dad. I love him because he loves you. I love him because he loves his Savior. I love him because of his goodness and how he honors fatherhood. I hope that each of you children will reflect upon a few of your favorite "Dad Moments" today. Your heart will be turned to your dad in love and gratitude as you do so.