Mari has learned this summer to call her dad, as our phone numbers are taped to the fridge. I can't explain it , but it just fills my heart when she asks if she can call him. I love watching her do this. She stands in front of our fridge, looking at the numbers and trying to find them on the phone. Sometimes she messes up and it takes a few trys to get it (so far she hasn't called anyone we don't know! And thank goodness that now a days we don't have to worry about long distance, as it has become a standard part of most of our phone contracts). Going to get a little concerned if I find an international call on my next bill?
I have struggled having a "home phone" because it just seems like an extra bill, but now see that it is vital for us to keep it for the kids. At least until that moment where they are all old enough to be begging for cell phones (not looking forward to those moments).
As a child, my parents were divorced, and my sisters and I lived with just my dad. He worked at an auto plant, and was up in a boiler room, but we could always call him when we needed too. I remember sometimes calling him 5-6 times in a row! Here was this single father, working in a plant with other men, but he would always take our calls and if he couldn't, he would call us back. Half the time, our calls were to have him settle some fight on the other line. Now as a parent, I know what he must have been thinking, " I am at work! I want to be with you but can't because I need to provide! Quit calling me! But call me back if you need to! I love those kids but they are driving me crazy!" I had forgotten all about that until Mari started wanting to use the phone to dial Dan's number. I found myself so thankful he was always so wiling to be there for us at that time of life, even when he couldn't be physically.
I love hearing Mari talk to her dad, or when she can't actually talk to him, her leaving a message. Her little voice with her slight lisp, is priceless. It usually sounds like this, "Hi Dad, it's me Mari. Just want to know how work is going." She then goes to tell him every moment of her day.
Mari knows daddy is working and sometimes with people, so he might not be able to always talk, but she can leave him a message and he will call her back. I shared my recent memory of my own dad and calling him at work with Dan. I love how open he was to making sure he was available for the kids when they called.
This summer is proving that my kids are growing up and are little people, as I am catching these small priceless moments of them growing up. I thought Mari learning to use the phone would be about her just learning her numbers along with our phone numbers; but it has become more about learning her needs of communication, and now as a parent how I and Dan need to be aware of them, even when at some moments we are not physically available.