Glimpses of Jim

“I wish you could have met Jim.”

Adam kicked back in his recliner on Monday and told me stories about hanging out with HOS and Jim (HOS’ dad). There was something about the goofy smile on his face and the glean in his eye that was so genuine it was almost painful.

He laughed at his own stories of taking Jim’s ATV for a joy ride in the middle of the night only to have Jim come outside half naked and hollering. Adam and HOS would sit around and shoot the breeze with Jim while he drank his whiskey drink.

I recall the only picture of Jim that I see with frequency. It’s a snapshot of Jim on his office. He has white hair and beard. He is wearing glasses, a farmer hat and a sweatshirt. I don’t know what he sounds like, but HOS has shown me a video of him once before. I want to know what it is about Jim that makes Adam look the way he did when he talked about Jim.

Adam says that HOS is just like his dad. Mama HOS and his sister say the same thing, too, so it must be true!

I think I catch glimpses of it. Is that possible? Can I see pieces of someone I never met in my fiancé?

I think I hear it when HOS starts talking about taking care of the family. … Or complains about the weather, or “kids these days,” or my inability to remember where I parked my car and/or put my keys.

I think I see it in the way he shakes his head is amazement at people – not good amazement, think dumbfounded amazement. Or in the way he looks at Charlotte and plays with her. I think I see his dad in the lines he creates when he rubs his head when he is stressed (or mad).

I wish I could have met Jim, too. Beyond that, I wish he could have met Charli. I imagine he would have had the same look on his face that HOS did, a look layered with love, joy, fear, and determination to make sure the world doesn’t lay one finger on her precious body.

I think I would have liked Jim quite a bit.

Dear HOS: I Need You to Know

Dear HOS,

I know that you have your doubts as a dad. I know you worry about the hours you work. I know you stress about the impact you have on our wonderful daughter. What parent doesn’t feel this way?

I wanted to let you know that I see you. I see everything that you for our family, and I am grateful. I want to ease any doubts or concerns that may enter your mind.

You make the most of every minute you share with Charlotte.

Charli asks for you when you aren’t here, and she is excited to see you walk in the door.

Charlotte learns from you every day. Our not-quite-two-year-old knows her body parts because you taught her. And she can tell her left from her right because you taught her.

And while I know you (and I) will have moments, days or even weeks when we feel like we are most definitely screwing this up, I need you to know that you are amazing dad.




Thanks to Technology

I’ve been wanting to write a post about technology for a long time, and there is no better motivation than being half a country away from my sweet baby girl and my amazing HOS.

Our little family has been using Skype for a number of months now. My dad and Sue are some of those lucky people who get to migrate south for the winter. Typically, they go way south to Mexico. They asked that we start using Skype so they wouldn’t miss out watching Charlotte grow. And let me tell you, four months makes a HUGE difference when it comes to babies.

Skype has been a blessing. I can’t even explain how much it meant to see my dad and Sue on the screen, and to watch Charli scrunch up her face at what she probably thought was a mini TV.

It’s not easy living in a different state than my family on a normal basis, let alone another country. Skype makes it possible for them to maintain a strong presence in Charlotte’s life even if its via video conference. Despite the distance, my baby girl will recognize their faces and their voices.

Aside from Skype, HOS and I have iPhones, so we can FaceTime one another. At this very moment, I’m in Atlanta for work. HOS and Charli are in Topeka. I hate being away, but I’m able to call them and actually see their faces!

On the call, Charlotte just kept giving the phone mean faces, but when I sang the ABCs, she lit up and smiled! It’s like she knew it was me.

I don’t care who you are or whether or not you think technology is a pain. It has done nothing but improve the quality of my family life, and I’m so grateful that it’s free (Skype) or built into our cell phones!

What piece of technology makes life better for your family?