My heart is pretty tender lately. I am a self proclaimed daddy's girl. Always have been, always will be.
My parents recently returned from their THIRD (yes, that's right, THIRD mission... making it my dad's FOURTH!)... (and I still wake up in a panic sometimes just having dreamed that I went on a 2nd mission...).
He is a good man. No, he is an out of this world amazing man. If I could describe him in one word, it would be:
As in Peter the Rock.
That's my dad.
Unmovable in his testimony of Christ
Our family's Rock.
I really lucked out with men in my life - my husband and my father are two of my absolute heros.
My dad has a gift. Each person that he encounters in life has felt it. He has a power to make you feel like you are the most important person on earth. For example: I am the youngest of 7 kids. I know he loves all of his children. Secretly, I know that I'm his favorite. I can also guarantee that there are 6 other people who feel the exact same way. (That's okay, I'll let the rest of you feel that way... I know that I am really the favorite ;) ).
So, what does this have to do with Butterfly kisses, you ask?
I first learned how to butterfly kiss from my dad. I can't remember how old I was, or what I was wearing, but I vividly remember sitting on his lap at the kitchen table, the sun shining through the window, and him asking if I wanted a butterfly kiss.
"Butterfly kiss?? What's that??"
He leaned in, and tickled my cheek with his eye lids, causing a cascade of giggles to erupt from my toddler body.
So whenever I hear the song "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle (FABULOUS song, by the way!!), as I did yesterday, I instantly think of that moment, and all of the other tiny moments that make up a lifetime of creating a daddy-daughter bond with one of my great heros in life...
... "Rise and Shout" to greet me each morning (complete with light flipped on, covers ripped from my cozy cacoon of a bed... wait, maybe this isn't quite a great memory to begin...)
... "Bore a hole in muley's horn, there you tie a string, dip him in the water, and PULL HIM OUT AGAIN" (there are probably only a handful of people who read this who will truly grasp the significance of that sentence!)
... "When Irish eye's are smiling..."
... "I've got six pence, jolly jolly six pence" (this song takes me back to the flyin B every time...
... eagles landing on heads (seriously, did mom have to get the 'baby eagle' every single time, while I seemed to get the grampa one??!)
... daddy daughter sun valley skiing trips (that man knows how to plan a date!) (to this day, he can STILL ski me into the ground!)
... "Are you ready on the right leg?" (seriously, how did you get free EVERY time??!)
... bucking horse (I never could get the right grip to last more than 5 seconds!)
... Hide in the bathroom
... fast Sunday interviews (snuggled up on his lap!)
... spspspsp, know what??
... Valentine's Day Chocolates, complete with prescription pad love notes
... "If your scholarship falls through, remember that you have access to the Walt Petersen scholarship fund"
... "That comes from the Albertson side of the family..." (yea, dad, we never bought this line!)
... President "Water" Petersen
... The perfect snake pirouette at the flyin B
... jitterbug to "In the Mood"
... "It hurts when I hold my hand like this..." "Well, then don't hold your hand like that..."
... "I just hit my head on the wall..." "Did you tell the wall sorry?"
... late night talks
... early morning beet hoes
... roller coaster plane rides (I think my stomach is still hovering over the Burley atmosphere somewhere!)
... Traditions!! (said in his best Tevia voice)
... and my favorite daddy moment of all time: coming down the runway after just finishing my mission, being clasped into his famous bear hug and have him whisper, "You did it! You did it!"... something that I'm hoping will be a precursor to meeting my Heavenly Father at the end of my life's mission. If that moment turns out to be anything like the moment with my dad, then this life will have ended perfectly.
I love you, Dad
... and I will always be your eensie weensie teensie eensie baby daughter :)