Missing Dad


Maria will be such a happy camper when her dad returns. She has been missing him like crazy and as each day gets closer to when he returns, she gets more and more melancholy about him being away. She saw a plane in the sky yesterday, and sighed “that makes me think of Daddy.”

It’s no wonder she misses him – the two of them are carbon copies of each other. They both see everything and never miss a beat. Whereas Mario and I could trip right over a $20 bill on the ground, Maria and Jon could spot it behind a row of bushes. Maria can make me laugh with her one-liners just as hard as Jon makes me laugh. Maria and Jon can dish it out to each other for minutes on end without breaking a smile, and then, when neither of them have broken, they both smile at each other at the same time so as not to let the other one “win.” Maria can’t stand to have you reach over and grab food from her plate just like Jon (although he does cut an exception out for me unlike Maria). Maria can get you to believe a made-up story she tells almost as often as Jon can (he still gets me fifteen years later). Maria hates the heat and would rather sit in the AC all day just like her pops. Maria has that shrewd business sense that Jon has: the other night we were eating dinner together and Jon was complaining about work problems. Maria looked over at him and counseled “You should definitely fire people.” She is going to be ten times tougher than Jon, actually….

So, when she finally fell asleep tonight after rubbing her back for 15 minutes and listening to her whimper about missing daddy, I emptied her book bag to get it ready for tomorrow. When I reached in her folder to see if she brought any paperwork home, I found a white envelope with the word “Dad” written on it. A little red heart was drawn beside it.

Melt my heart.

It was sealed shut so I decided I would not rip it open to see what it says. But I am quite sure that it will bring tears to Jon’s eyes when he reads it because I know he loves that baby girl more than anything. Or maybe she is acting just like him and playing a trick on him like he plays on all of us family members and there is nothing inside of it… I think that would bring even more proud tears to his eyes.

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