Sunday, March 30, 2008

Guns and Roses

My almost two year old daughter calls him, "Hug-ens." I guess it's a combination of his name and the word hug...because that's what she wants when she sees him - a big hug. At first sight she runs towards him and usually as she approaches, he gently bends downs to scoop her up. Her smile widens when she knows he sees her coming. And when he hoists her into the air to hold her, he's smiling too.
'Hug-ens" and his wife were guests at one of our friends - a three-year old - princess party last night. He was thrilled to be there amidst the pink fu-fu crowns and wands. He unloaded tables and help set-up the picnic in the park and then cheered and hoo-rahed appropriately at the pretty clothes, the Dora the Explorer pre-school toys and the brand new dolls as tissue paper flew out of the gift bags.
This is a "wild at heart" man, a hunter, the father of three boys, a builder. But when those kids start running towards him, he's melted. It's a transformation. Such a sweet moment to share in from the back ground.
Preston made one of his dearest friends at four months old when he lunged at the dirty sweaty working man, draped himself over his shoulder and snuggled in. Working outside in the morning during Vacation Bible School, the men came in for a break. Dressed to work outside, looking like he had been working outside and with stench to match, I gasped as my baby, unblemished, smelling of baby powder, and dressed in one of his cutest outfits, drew his legs in under him and nuzzled into his new friends neck. The gruff man closed his eyes and sighed, enjoying the unconditional love from my little one.

My heart swelled, knowing that someone else could glean as much joy as I from my child.

And at my son's first birthday party, his new heart connection was right there in the middle of the bright orange construction themed party.
This oxymoronic man has decorated tables for a children's nursery shower, counseled with my husband and I, dressed up like and old man to greet scavenger hunters, and never given less then his best for us. What a treasure!
This father of three boys, construction worker, and avid hunter, waited to catch a peak at our daughter on her first Sunday at church. When he walked in for evening services that night I handed him the baby, a pacifier and a blanket. A smile drew his cheeks up. My daughter, clad in pink and ruffles, melted the manly exterior. The large hands that enjoy holding guns, hunting for sport, became soft and delicate holding our little girl, only days old.

“You were blessed to be a blessing,” he said softly. As tears welled up
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