The Christmas season is upon us, with its numerous Nativity images of the holy family: Mary, the newborn Jesus, and his earthly father, Joseph. And I am thinking . . .
. . . how sweet it is to be called Daddy.
The Guardian in the United Kingdom published a story last year in which the writer, Declan Fitzsimons, bemoans the fact that at fifty-two years of age, he remains unmarried.
He wonders what it would be like to have a daughter.
Would she have my eyes? My smile? What is it like to see in a child little mannerisms, a way of doing things, moving, speaking, laughing, playing, that remind us of ourselves? Or of course, she may have the eyes of my loved one. And what a joy that would be, to see in our child’s face, our love; to bring into this world a beautiful child that was of us – a child that would grow into her own person but growing out of who we are.
I identify with Declan’s wondering. For six years, I studied to be a Catholic priest and was prepared to commit to lifelong celibacy. Yet, I frequently wondered, “What if?”
I did marry. I do see my wife in the faces of my two daughters. Never more vividly than since her death two years ago.
Declan’s story in The Guardian was titled “Childless at 52: How sweet it would be to be called Dad.”
Declan, I am called not just Dad, but Daddy by my two daughters. And it is very sweet.
When I look at this photo of my father cradling me in his arms soon after I entered this world, I can appreciate what Jesus was talking about when he counseled his followers to call God Abba.
This Aramaic word is literally translated as father. But its truer meaning is closer to Daddy.
What they say is true: parents’ greatest wish is that after we are gone, our children will be close throughout their lives. I pray that my daughters be best friends forever, and that they recognize in each other’s faces a little bit of their Mom and Daddy’s love.
Wendy, Jo Anne, and Julie Yaremko.
If you enjoyed reading this, you will like my newest book, Saints and Poets, Maybe: One Hundred Wanderings, available in time for Christmas gifting at Amazon.