I wrote last year about how thankful I am to have such wonderful men and fathers in my life. A year later, nothing has changed except that I love these men even more. It's been an enormous joy to watch Robert grow into his role as a father over the past year. He carries a frilly diaper bag when I ask him to, clips stray hairbows to his shirt, and can be seen carrying around a baby doll from time to time. But he's also teaching Clara about the great outdoors, rough-housing with her, pushing her extra hard on the swing, teaching her to jump in the waves and making sure she grows up tough. She's lucky to have a daddy who loves her so well and who is willing to play so hard with her.
Many kids these days don't have one strong male figure in their lives. Clara has an abundance. Her two grandfathers are not run of the mill grandfathers. These guys get down on the floor with her, they make silly noises, they read stories (or make up stories with ridiculous characters and a nonsensical plot), they hang swings and fill sandboxes, and light up as bright as the sun with joy every time they look into her big blue eyes. Clara's story has changed all of us, but I love the way it has transformed these two men and made them love even deeper and stronger. Somehow, I think Clara knows it too. She beams so big and her whole body seems to radiate joy when they're around. Big Daddy and Daddy Bob, you are so loved.
I barely knew my grandparents at all, but Clara has four devoted grandparents and two living great-grandparents. What a joy! I know her other great-grandparents would have loved to have known her too, but we're so thankful to be able to share her with Mema and Papa. Clara's favored demographic is men over 60 and Papa is no exception. Clara is drawn to him like a magnet and his love and devotion for her is undeniable. As we were leaving Elberton today, Papa said, "It was great to see you and Robert, but truth be told, you've kind of taken a backseat since Clara showed up." As it should be, Papa.
We spent Father's Day weekend in Elberton, so Clara got to be with three of these four remarkable men today. And she sees her Big Daddy quite a lot, so we'll enjoy celebrating with him sometime this week.
Okay, enough hemming and hawing. These guys are great, and I've got photographic evidence of the love in their eyes (and the love in Clara's eyes for them). So, Happy Father's Day!
Clara with Daddy Bob, Daddy and Papa
See how they just can't take their eyes off of her?
Clara with her great-grandparents, Mema and Papa