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Stories from Home: Butterfly Kisses No Longer

(The following was written by me on Father's Day 2021)

The first time I heard the song Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle, Joy, my first child, was 6. It broke my heart.

I still get somewhat teary eyed about all of those rites of passages I went through with her, as well as the other two children. No, we haven't done the walk down the aisle bit, but as I consider the song today, I realize it is not so much about the wedding day. It's Bob Carlisle realizing that he has to let go. All of those memories come to mind, but the reality is the relationship has changed forever. There comes a time you have to let them go.

And that is where I am. Before, Father's Day was a homemade tie… A homemade card… little fingers rubbing through my hair… being served something that mom helped them make… Kisses and, yes, butterfly kisses. All of the things that come with little ones and Father's Day.

I see the pictures today on Facebook with young parents and their little ones - the smiles and cute moments - and I want to yell at each one of dads,

"IT GOES FAST, TOO FAST. ENJOY THE MOMENT!"

Today's Father's Day was a delightful meal from my youngest and wife (thank you Grace and Debbie) but for most of the day by my youngest daughter was spent at a friend's house.

My son, Andrew, came by after a shift at the hospital for a hug and quick chat, then it was home to his wife, Alexandra, and their own responsibilities. Joy called to wish me a happy day. We talked, then there were things she had to do.

We are still parent and child - and I am blessed to be a parent still to my kids - but the interactions have changed forever, as it should be. They have lives to live.

Grace asked me last week what I wanted for Father's Day. I told her at first there is nothing I want anymore, just experiences. But then, I told her the only I really want from my kids is for them to be happy. Truly, that is the gift I want.

I'll remember and long for the days they were kids. I'll see a knick knack once in a while and smile through the heartache of missing what once was. But, I'll get that call to hear what they are doing as adults and I smile with pride.

I loved the butterfly kisses of their childhoods, but I love more they are adults that are seeking their own adventures, as they wonder.

It was a quiet Father's Day, but filled with pride for his kids.

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