Over nearly four years together, I have grown to love watching Gary and the kids together. Reading with them, drawing with them, riding bikes, turning them upside down, tickling, wrestling, soothing them after a bump or fall, engaged in intense discussion about superheroes, making up songs, cooking with them, teaching each other sweet dance moves, snuggling quietly, even picking on me for being short, you name it…there is a look in the kids’ eyes that is true adoration when they are with him.
I might suppose I am just biased in this regard…except that total strangers see it too.
Sitting at restaurants or racing around a playground, we have been approached by others in public to comment on how fun it was to watch Gary and the kids together. Gary has been told by strangers how great it is to see a father so involved with his kids. I remember an elderly woman commenting to us what a beautiful family we make.
An element of amusement is thrown in when this happens in the town where the kids were taken to, the town where dramatic lies have been spread from one end of the hayseed town to the other about the villian that Gary is, what a deadbeat he is, a violent, uncontrollable man! When approached by people in this town, people are inevitably struck speechless when Gary introduces himself. He’s that guy? Yep, the one and only. I can’t help but smile as I watch them struggle with what they have been told compared with what is right before their eyes.
The kids are Gary’s life. Nothing is more important to him than those four little people, and it is easy to see they feel the same way about him. It is even more beautiful in light of all the attempts that have been made to keep them apart and turn the kids against him. The kids are energetic, loving, happy, peaceful, and hopeful in his arms…as they should always be.
Happy Father’s Day, Gary! I know you always say you don’t want a present from me or from the kids. But I hope you know you deserve the world.
*Father’s Day cartoon courtesy of Daryl Cagle*