Monday, September 15, 2008


Before you were born, lil' dude, there was one particular person who was so excited for you to arrive he helped Mama count down the days. That person is your Papa W., Mama's very own daddy.
When you are older, I will tell you the story of he and I and how we become father and daughter. Next to the Dad, he's my favorite guy ever . . . and I am sure he'll rank right up there with you, too.

Your Papa W. is passionate about things. His most favorite is the log cabin he built by hand, nestled on 80 acres of quiet, deep woods. It's was his lifelong goal, and he's not even 50 yet. His hard work and vision and desire are some of his greatest attributes, and they are very present in his everyday work. He's a simple man, though, who loves his family, does good, and takes joy in the small things like a sweet dog on the porch, a cup of fresh-perked coffee, a new song found on iTunes. There is no one else like him.

He wanted grandkids by the time I left for college. He's always loved kids, all the cousins and second-cousins and co-workers' grandkids. When the Dad and I told him he was going to be a grandpa, he cried and said his trademark, "neat." He sent me about 4 emails a week through the rest of my pregnancy, just to check in, just to be a part of it all. I knew he was secretly making plans, and secretly, hoping for a baby girl. He told me often you were a she.

You were born three days before his birthday . . . the coat rack and puzzle we gave him for his birthday could not to compare to him holding you for the first time asking quietly, "Can I unwrap her to look?" as he rubbed your cheek. He called everyday when you and I were home under Grandma's care. If I went a day without an emailed picture, he called to see if our camera was broke. You've had him wrapped around your itty bitty finger all this time- and even before.

So this weekend, we loaded you up and put the Beagle beside you and we headed for the cabin. Wienie Roast, the email said, at the Cabin. He couldn't wait to see you and show you everything. We dressed you in the most fitting gear we could find, and we went exploring. The rain and the mud and the cold kept us from doing much outside, but sat around the wood stove, warm as can be. The look on your Papa's face as he watched you happily peruse every square inch was priceless. He could not have been happier, seeing you in his most favorite place. He loved when you crawled to the table of big men, with muddy boots, and loud voices and pulled yourself up on his leg. Up, Papa. Make me bounce like you always do.

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