The kids love to tell and re-tell the stories of their father coming up to their bedroom to do the night-time story and tuck-in. He'd climb the stairs slowly, creaking along the tired floors, step into their room, and turn off the lights. Then he'd begin even the most innocent story in a husky voice, 'Once upon a time,' building, building, the room quiet save for the sound of his voice rasping against the evening air. Softly and then more and more, up and up, until he was roaring "I WISH THAT I HAD DUCK FEET!", lights flickering, feet stomping, a din! Much to the glee and giggle (and not sleepiness) of the completely un-tucked audience.
Of course, I'd be wailing from downstairs, "That is NOT proper tuck-in storytelling," which would only elicit more giggles and the good, loud belly laugh of the culprit. I'm positive the kids' poor sleep habits come from that business. I'm also positive that's not true, but that's not what I tell them.
My kids are the ones with the stories now - this happened in school and that happened in band and this class is so hard. I think our children talk to us so much because their dad created this place, this home for us where all the stories, even the scary ones, could be funny and laughed over.
He made it safe to be yourself here, to be a little weird or silly, to tell fart jokes. That last one is probably not my favorite, but I recognize its value...
What I mean to say by all that is that he's not exactly perfect, but he's wonderful and warm and strong and good, good, good. I couldn't have picked a better man to be a dad to my children and they couldn't be luckier to have him.