My husband comes home late, after midnight.
Drama Queen and I sit at the dining room table giving Drummer Boy a bad time on Facebook and though it's been a long day for all of us, Kevin pauses to ask our daughter about her night at work.
She spent the last seven hours at an assisted living facility and regales us with stories--funny things the residents say, goofy happenings, adventures in showering (She's learning more than she ever wanted to about the effects of aging on the human body--Ha!). She talks and talks, our chuckles spurring her on.
And when I look at my husband, his eyes twinkle. He's loving every second of her discourse, hearing every word and thoroughly enjoying her. He looks at her with pleasure and I recognize his expression. It's the way he looks at me when we laugh, when his body language says, "Girl, I love you." Twenty-five years go that look caused me to think "this guy may be different from the rest."
Appreciation can't be manufactured and his is obviously genuine. My daughter's smiling face at 12:30 a.m. at the end of a very long week, reveals he's communicated her value well. As I watch him love her with laughter and sparkling eyes, I adore my husband even more. He's instilling in our teen aged daughter a feeling of importance and worth, giving her the positive validation she needs to keep her out of the arms of other men. With one look he tells her she is loved, not because of physical attributes (although she is beautiful and he tells her so), but simply because he enjoys her.
That, my friends, is a terrific father. Well done, honey.