Now that you are getting old enough, I think it's time to share with you an ancient tradition dating back thousands of years that not many people know about called "Father's Day Eve." The night before Father's Day dads get to sit back, reflect on their families, the good memories and the lessons learned in the past year and archive those thoughts so their children can learn what their dads were thinking about them when they were young.
Originally, these thoughts were written on tablets (stone, not iPad), then papyrus, then the tradition was lost for centuries. It was only a handful of years ago this tradition was re-discovered and resumed, but since stone tablets and papyrus are a pain to store, blogs are now the medium used. (Do not bother Googling this tradition and I will let you know when Wikipedia is okay to search)
Anyways, enough history on Father's Day Eve. On to tradition!
First, let me tell you girls that even at your young ages it is crazy how much you love each other and how different you are. Yet even though you are different, you are both extremely sweet and caring. Annika, the whole flower girl event for you was like a coming out party. Your extraversion is so more apparent, you love talking to just about anyone who will listen, and you have a pretty good sense of humor. You have also already lost the "dy" and "my" from daddy and mommy, now it's just "dad" and "mom." I know 60 year olds who haven't lost that yet. While it is a bit sad, it is rather humorous coming from you, your mother and I hear you talk to us and just say "who is this girl?".
Audrey, you have no shortage of words either. You are curious and will get into anything if it looks interesting and older kids are doing it. You already have figured out how to work the system. The last two times you have spent the night at Grandpa and Grandmamas you have gotten sick and Grandpa has stayed up with you watching TV in bed. I am pretty sure you faked the sick part (I know, not really) because the next night you got me up to hold you and then promptly turned around like it was time to watch TV... at 1:30am. Yes, you have learned to work the system.
One of my favorite little treasures lately is when your mom has to go to work and you both cuddle up next to me "nice and cozy" and we get under the blanket and watch Despicable Me. I love Annika how you think the main character's name is "Despicable Me" instead of Gru (and you can't really say Despicable) and Audrey how you laugh at your sister when she mimics Vector yelling "Oh yeah!" It's hilarious.
Father's Day Eve also has to include a lesson that I have learned from you two. So here it is: as I watch each of you grow and see your differences I realize like anything surrounding management, I can't handle you the same. You are different and need to parented in ways unique to you. While sometimes I wish it would be easier and I could just parent you exactly the same, I recognize I wouldn't be doing you any favors.
In the same vain, I recognize that God parents us the same way. Each different in our own unique ways. He loves us where we need it most. Proverbs 3:11 states "do not despise the Lord's discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."
Two lessons. One, it makes me see the ways that God is providing the discipline that I need and instead of fighting it, it would probably be more beneficial to lean in and realize he is trying to help me and mold me (like I am trying to do for you). Second, it keeps me cognizant of wanting to make sure I am not doing what is easy when it comes to being your dad, rather that I am doing what is best for your growth. I know I don't always do that well, but it is something that I am fully aware of.
All that to say, I am proud to be your dad and you are growing and stretching me each day. Your personalities bring me so much joy.
So girls, there you have it. Your first Father's Day Eve recording. You are now part of a great tradition that dates back thousands of years...
...(or 45 minutes :)