Although their first early utterances often sound more like "Da Da Da Da" rather than "Mommy, Can I Have More Breastmilk And By The Way, Thank You For Everything," when you share your children with a father who is as dedicated as my husband, you don't mind that the kids initially and still sometimes call you Daddy, or the more formal "Mommy Daddy Mommy Daddy" even when they are Just Four and Nearly Two. After all, upon looking through our wedding album on recent nights, Just Four decided that she will either marry her brother or her father. Perhaps reasonable, given her vantage point, but not legal. Here are just a few loving witticisms, courtesy of my kids, in tribute to the dads out there:
"I'm going to love you every day, and I'm not even going to skip a day"
"I had a dream that I loved you"
"I love you.... table"
"Happy Mother's Day Daddy"
As a post-script, allow me (a mother in medicine) a brief shout out to my own father (neither a mother nor in medicine, except he was the latter, I guess, as a patient succumbing to cancer over 15 years ago). When I casually mentioned to my daughter that the Berenstain bears book we were reading was one that "my parents" read to me when I was little, she asked, "Who was the Daddy?" For the first time a clear reference to my father, her should-have-been grandfather. And I told her, "He was a wonderful man who read me books and taught me to swim." I miss father's day.