There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your children interact with their father.

It’s the same as being entertained at a movie theatre, minus the sticky floors and rear-widening buttery popcorn. I love to observe from afar, like a fly on the wall that goes unnoticed. To them, they are just being. Boys being boys. Wrestling. Secret handshakes. And huge claps of noisiness.

It makes my heart grin.

Like when my husband jokingly grabs our youngest son’s muscular thighs, saying ‘I’m gonna get those hams. Gimme those hams!’ And our son breaks out into laughter so genuine that he has to catch his breath and I can’t help but laugh as well.

Or the secret trips to McDonald’s drive-thru for a McFlurry after lacrosse practice, where my oldest son is told by his father with a grin, ‘This is our little secret. Don’t tell Mom.’ And every time, I’m told.

Or the time Greg returned home from work and sat on the couch, only to be met by a bouncing 6-year-old, who sprang into his father’s lap and squealed, ‘It’s snuggle time!’

Or last week, when I mentioned to our youngest that his father had a surprise for him, and he told me, ‘I’ll bet he wants to snuggle with me at bedtime. I just know it!’ And to him, time with dad beat any store-bought gift that ever existed.

I love that.

I love that they will remember these moments years from now, as they raise their own miniature versions of themselves. Just like I remember my dad, the Necco wafers, footrubs for a pack of grape Bubble Yum, and ‘Debber-Doo’ nickname that still echoes in my mind.

All forever etched in my heart.

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