Friday, September 11, 2009

Papa's Little Girls: Long-distance Loving On Granddad for National Grandparents Day

I told my mom first. I mean, I’d been with Nick for four years and married for two of them, so it wasn’t any secret that we’d “been” with one another, but I just couldn’t fix my mouth to tell my Dad I was pregnant. That’s the burden of Daddy’s Girls; no matter how old you are, no matter what you’ve done, you want to maintain that innocence.

For his sake. For yours.

So I let my mom break the news that Daddy was going to add the word “Grand” to his title. To say he was thrilled would be the understatement of life. I can barely describe the joy my father found in watching my stomach morph and shift. He got a kick out of seeing my unborn baby’s foot tickle and stretch across my belly; he’d let out deep, bellyaching laughs when the baby stuck her little butt out, and especially when she’d poke him in the cheek when he’d hold his face next to my stomach. It was he who totally ganked my ultrasound picture of Mari—he framed it and put it on the shelf in the living room so he could see it everyday. He also confiscated the tape and recorder I used to record my baby’s heartbeat—would just sit and listen to the incredibly fast “thump, thurble” for the longest stretches.

Papa Jimmy loved his Mari long before she made her debut. Lila, too. He’d hold the two of them in the palms of his thick hands and smell their necks and tickle them with his mustache—whisper his sweet “I Love Yous” in their tiny little ears.

And now, he spoils them rotten—much like he did to me when I was a kid. But he doesn’t spoil them with stuff, though. Quite the contrary, Daddy gives my girls the best thing any man could ever give a girl—his time. That precious gift comes on long morning walks to nowhere, the three of them exploring and feeding ducks at the local park. The gifts come, too, on bumpy drives in his pick-up truck to the gas station to play the lottery, and in his much nicer ride when he’s visiting us here in Georgia and taking the girls somewhere special, like our local Carvel. They sit and eat soft serve vanilla and just laugh like they haven’t a care in the world. Oh, how I love to see them laugh!

One of these days, we’re going to be successful in our hard sell to get Papa Jimmy to move to Georgia. We need him closer. The five-hour drive is much too much. We want to walk down the hallway to see him. Yeah. For now, though, an in-person visit every few months and every-other-day phone calls have to do.

We also found a really cool tool on that allows the girls to email personal voicemail messages to Papa, so that even when they’re in school, Papa can hear their voices and get tickled by his granddaughters’ antics. Last night, they recorded a special greeting for him to celebrate National Grandparents Day this coming Sunday. It was super-easy to do; all we had to do was call in to a special number (on the website), giggle, laugh, and say “I Love You” a million times into the phone, and then put his email addy into the website. Then—voila!—the giggle girls are in his email.

Want to hear Mari and Lila’s special message to their papa? Click HERE.

And if you want to let the kids send a special message to their grandparents to celebrate National Grandparents day, or hip your parents to a great resource for grandparents looking for ways to bond and connect with their grandchildren, skip on over to

Happy Grandparents Day!

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  1. Aw, this made me smile. I might use this for my own daddy. He lives 4 hours away, and I can't always catch him on the phone but he'd love to click a button and hear one of his daughters say "Hey Daddy!"

    Thanks for sharing. Loving the love!

  2. where do i start?--by the time i heard them sqy they want him to live with them, i was crying--how i wish i could leave messages like this for my own father--daddy died in 2006 from diabetes--oh how i miss him!--but being a grandmother myself, i will be having Tyler record messages for me and my husband and his great grandfather to make our day special--thank you for sharing this beautiful message and website--it made my day!!!

  3. awww, that is too cool. Loved this post. You never know how your father will take the news of such things. It amazes me now when I watch my girls with Daddy. When certain issues comes up, he goes totally opposite than I think. I just say under my breath "Daddy's Girls".

  4. Grandparents rock! Sadly mine are all departed, but nothing makes my heart gladder than seeing how much my kids and my parents love each other.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome resource! I am a huge lover of Grandparents Day. I first discovered the day when I found it printed on one of my wall calendars one year. We are living without a calendar this year, so thanks for reminding me to love on my grandparents extra hard this weekend!!

  6. what a sweet and touching way to show you care. grandparents rock!

  7. Aw this was a great article. My grandparents live in Cali while I'm on the east coast and when I was growing up it was hard not being able to see them! It's cool that there are some creative ways to make it feel like you're close to Grandma and Grandpa.

  8. Priceless. I love how you and your daughters are using technology to keep in touch with your dad. It's true time is the best gift a father and grandfather can give to their daughters and granddaughters. My dad and gradnfather gave me time. My dad still gives me time at 44. Well we are all blessed. May your daughters continue to bask in their grandfather's love.

  9. Your daughters message to their papa brought a smile to my face. I wish I would have come across this post prior to sunday. I would have had my boys send one of these to their Bebe (which is their grandma) and PopPop. I'm sure they would have loved it. Thanks for sharing this website with me. Bebe's bday is coming up in a couple of weeks maybe I'll have the message to her then.


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