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Raising Daddies

by Audrey Broggi on June 18, 2017

Father's Day is coming to an end. I'm grateful for my dad.  I am grateful for my children’s dad. And I feel great love and appreciation for so many men I know who are doing such a great job as fathers. I am grateful.
But at this stage of my life, I see Father’s Day in a new light. See, I’m old enough to have some boys who have grown into both husbands and fathers.
I spent a good part of my life raising daddies. I remember when these dads were little boys. I remember those days as if I am still living them. Partly because my boys trust me with their children and I get to spend time with my grandchildren. Every time I have them, it's like jumping into a time machine and traveling back into the '80's. My oldest son's little girls are little feminine replicas of their daddy. My second son’s children each have a different image of their daddy stamped into their being. It's no mistaking to whom each of these children belong.
Yet, my memory of raising daddies is as crisp and clear as a beautiful fall day. My grandchildren just bring it into sharper focus - if that's possible.
I love how they remind me that I can never erase seasons of my life from my memory. I love how, when I look into their faces, oftentimes I feel as if I'm staring into the faces of my boys. It's like having time with my little robust warriors all over again - except the girls hold dolls and tufted kitties rather than sticks and random car parts. But the boys? It's ALL the same. They're boys. I love, too, how they show me that some seasons of life are so indelibly etched, it's very easy to remember and go back as if no time has passed at all.
As far as these grown-up daddies are concerned, I can still hear their little voices and see their little faces. And sometimes when I look into their faces today, I stare at the strong jawlines when they read stories to their children, I study the broad shoulders on which their children sometimes sit, I gaze at the big masculine hands they use to wipe a tear from a child's face and I am captured by these tall adult masculine men - yet, I also see the little boys they once were.
The little boys who were sometimes afraid and wandered into my room at night and climbed into our bed - on my side. I think about the "nighttime" pallet I kept tucked away, yet close enough, because the two of them plus the two of us couldn't fit very well or very comfortably in a double bed. They were always in competition as to who would wake up first during the night - because the one who wandered in first got the bed - the other one got the floor. I slept many nights during that short season of life with my arm dangling from the side of the mattress holding a little boy's hand.
It's so true, some memories are as crisp and clear as a beautiful fall day.
And sometimes when I hear their voices today, I listen intently to the deep sound that comes out. Wow. Where did those baritones come from? And I hear, "Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?"
I remember their little voices - the coos, the baby giggles - that grew into childhood squeals of rough boy-times and then of course, the I-sound-like-a-woman days. Oh the frustration in their voices when they answered the phone, "No mam, this is not Mrs. Broggi but I'll get her for you." Indelibly etched. I always told them that "sounding like a woman" preceded "sounding like a man." I told them it was a good thing because it meant sounding like man was coming soon – very soon. At the time, they didn't believe me.
Well now, they sound like men. They act like men. They look like men. Real men. Not the sissy types. Not the wimpy types. Not the metro types. Not the girlie types. Not the womanizing types. Not the carousing types.  Not the domineering types. Not the lazy types. No, they are real men.
They are the kind of men who know and love God. The kind of men who know how to sweat and work hard. The kind of men who knew how to find and pursue good wives. The kind of men who would lay down their lives for their wives and now, their children.
The kind of men who also knew how to leave their mother and father and cleave to their wives. The kind who know how to provide for and protect their families.
Happy Father's Day to my boys.  


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