Sleepless Nights and Kisses for Breakfast: Reflections on Fatherhood, Matteo Bussola, Penguin Group TarcherPerigee, 2017.
Fatherhood, I have learned in the past two years, is a true gift. Sure, there are moments when the whining and the fussing gets a little weary, but hey, we all whine and fuss, right? All of those moments are pushed to the shadows when your little girl climbs in your lap to give you a kiss. Or when she makes a joke and then laughs at herself.
Being a dad has been the best calling on my life.
And it’s one of those callings that you only realize how powerful it is until it happens. I remember church members telling me after it was announced that we were expecting, that my life would never be the same.
The other night, Toddler J was falling asleep. She was getting close, reaching that stage where the eyes roll back, eyelids close, and head hangs loose. Suddenly, her head popped up and said, “Daddy! Potty!”
I asked her, “Did you potty already?” “No!” she answered, “Potty!”
I scooped her up and headed downstairs. Once in the bathroom, we were on auto-pilot. The Minnie Mouse seat positioned just right, and the toddler, sans diaper, set on the Minnie Mouse seat. I was instructed to sit in my customary spot on the floor.
And we waited. . . . . and waited.
We waited until I was sure that this was simply a well orchestrated tactic to keep herself awake. I scooped her up, and got a clean diaper. As soon as her PJs were secured around her waist, the protest began.
“No diaper! Potty! No diaper! Potty!”
I heard the cry of my child, and we returned to the bathroom. Back on the Minnie Mouse seat, within seconds, there was the sound of a faint trickle.
So I ask, who is training who?
Our favorite spot in the new house is quickly becoming the sunroom. This enclosed porch with sliding doors all around, gives us a postcard perfect glimpse of our backyard. It is more perfect when birds, squirrels, rabbits, and other friendly critters occupy the space.
It is a peace-filled space.
The other day while eating lunch on the sunroom, Toddler J and I watched as a squirrel hopped through the yard. As the squirrel started climbing the tree, Toddler J’s eyes lit up and a broad smile spread across her little face. She pointed up as the squirrel climbed the tree. When the squirrel was long out of sight, she was still pointing with excitement and mumbling what I believe was her attempt at saying,”squirrel.”
I had moved some of my cross necklaces that were hanging on the hook where I hang my alb. They were getting tangled up and just becoming a mess. So I took them down to set them aside until I could come up with a better solution.
The day proceeded on. I left work, went home for lunch, got a haircut. All pretty normal things. I had a meeting with a couple getting married this coming summer and needed to take Baby J with me. We loaded up and got to the office about forty-five minutes before the meeting was scheduled.
In a good mood, Baby J explored my office. Playing with the toys that were there only occasionally. At some point, she discovered the crosses I had earlier that day set aside. One cross, a wooden cross I brought back from Costa Rica one year, became her favorite.
Baby J has hit a milestone. She now sits up with very little help, or without her arms extended out for balance. And she is quite proud of herself.
Every once and awhile though, she’ll get super excited about this newfound ability and falls face first.
Go to sleep, baby girl, go to sleep.
Close your eyes, your pretty eyes, and go to sleep.
So you can dream of being the captain of a great, big, ship, exploring the wonders of the world.
Author Sandra Hagee Parker has written her first book for children. An attorney living in San Antonio, Texas, Parker is the daughter of preacher John Hagee. Her book, The Adventures of Pajama Girl and the Coronation of the Cupcake Queen, draws inspiration from her own two daughters, Olivia and Elliana.
In the book, Ellie’s pajamas send her on various adventures when she goes to bed. On the night she wears her cupcake pajamas, she and her little sister are transported to a kingdom of cupcakes. They arrive in time for the coronation of the Cupcake Queen. But the coronation comes to a halt when sprinkles have gone missing. The sisters help find the missing sprinkles, and learn a lesson about being jealous.
“Whoever says, ‘I abide in him,’ ought to walk just as he walked.” (1 John 2:6)
A few days after baby J was born, I texted a photo of her to my cousin Jennifer. She texted me back telling me the conversation she had with her two-year-old, B.
Mom shows picture of Baby J to B
B points to picture and says, “Baby Jesus.”
Mom: “No, that’s baby J.”
B: “No, Mommy, that’s baby Jesus.”
When others look at us, who do they see?
Since 1962, Stan and Jan Berenstain’s Bear Family have ben introducing children and their families to the typical issues that face them every day. In the latest Berenstain Bears story, toddlers and preschoolers are introduced to the importance of saying, “Please,” and “Thank you.”
The author of this brand-new Berenstain Bear book, is Mike Berenstain. Mike grew up watching his parents together write and draw the Bear family. At one point he started drawing and writing with them too. After his father died in 2005 and his mother in 2012, Mike continues their love of these Bears and continues telling their stories.
when i hold your little hands in mine
i can’t help but wonder what your hands will hold
will your hands give food to the hungry?
will they raise up in protest of discrimination and racism?
will they hold a book into the wee hours of the morning?