Thank you to the Single Dad who gets it…
Although he is not listed as the primary caregiver on the divorce papers, he never stops giving all of his heart and all of his soul to care for his children.
Thank you to the single dad who wholeheartedly participates in his child’s life. He conducts his share of the “pick up and drop off” at school, volleyball practice and Karate. He learns to boil water, make an awesome hot dog, iron school uniforms and can’t wait to play wiffle ball in the park, because it means so much to be with his kids.
A big thanks to the single dad who chooses to drive a car loaded with miles, weathered paint and worn out seats because that means there are no more car payments and it frees up extra cash to buy the airfare, hotel and rental car required to see his children as much as possible. Thank You to the single dad living miles away who decides to use his personal days and vacation time to make the recital, the school play and a baseball game or two. Thanks to the single dad who arranges a special “daddy/daughter date night”, only to spend most of it listening to his teenager talk incessantly about things he cannot really comprehend but tries desperately to understand, because he loves her. Thank you to the single dad who understands that no matter what happened between the mother of his children and himself, his children remain his priority and he chooses to take the “high road” during angry confrontations or unfair accusations, because he knows the young tender hearts of his children could never comprehend the complicated emotions of adulthood.
Thank you to the single dad for not giving up on himself, his children or the world around him, even when his heart slowly breaks as he views a little league game in the distance, wanting nothing more than to be there with his own child. Thank You to the single dad who understands how much his presence in his children’s lives contributes to their emotional stability and their happiness. And although they may not know it now, his children will someday recognize the sacrifices, the unconditional love and the support that he generously and unselfishly gave from his heart. Thank you to the single dads who have plowed through the negative stereotypes to be a force of strength, love, stability, reason, discipline and courage for their children and the children who will someday be our tomorrow.
At my house we give these awesome little “Happy’s” to each other. Not all the time, just now and then and I think it’s such a cool idea (which I cannot take credit) that I wanted to share it with all of you today. I really love this…here is how it started.
During my first job out of college I met one of my dearest friends, Susie. She was (and still is) a lovely, gracious and beautiful Southern Belle with perfect skin and hair (of course). I, on the other hand, with a lot of the SoCal girl still in my blood and a love for all things a bit left of center, flip-flops and my Jeep, didn’t exactly scream “Debutante”, but hey, I managed. Anyway, I think she was the first person to embrace my somewhat offbeat personality and I think I might have been the first to admire her complete sense of style and total togetherness. It was then, and is still today a relationship that I treasure. Not only did I learn more than I ever thought I could learn about the appropriate wardrobe for good Southern girls (like never wearing white or patent leather after labor day (which was never and is still probably not a rule in California), she taught me a little something about spreading happiness to the ones you love.
A “Happy” is a little surprise gift you give to a friend, a loved one, a spouse or a child. It’s a simple gift that says “you’re important to me”. A “Happy” doesn’t have to be expensive or a one-of-a-kind treasure, just personal; no breaking the bank on this one. One of my first “Happy’s” from Susie through the years was a necklace. It was not just any necklace because it had a little glass bird charm on the chain and she knew I LOVED birds. How thoughtful, how very cool it was to have her sunshiny self drop by my house with a “Happy” for her friend. It meant so much to me and made me feel so good that she thought of me that day and she didn’t even realize it had been a difficult week. This was the little ray of happiness that gave me a smile and made me feel like things were looking up.
I adopted this creative gift giving ritual and use it with my family. Although sometimes a “Happy” in our house is simply bringing home their favorite ice cream and movie, It’s also finding my daughter a fun set of earrings and wrapping them up in a colorful bag and placing it on her bed so she will find it after school or surprising my nieces with cool and colorful flip-flops. It’s a small gesture that delivers a big dose of wonderful.
So here’s a challenge; think about a little something special you can bring home tonight to your kids, the hubby, significant other or a fantastic neighbor and start spreading the “Happy” beginning today!