“Daddy?” My Little girl runs over and wraps her arms around my leg. She glances up and her face beams at me with so much happiness, “I told you he would come back, Mommy. You are staying, right Daddy?” I reach down and pick her up. I gaze in her matching brown eyes.
“Yes Payton, I am here and I’m not leaving.” Payton smiles up at me, then looks at her Mom.
“Mommy, he knows my name! Daddy knows my name!” She reaches her little arms over and wraps them around my neck. “You did know about me!” I looked over to Willow, who is standing there with her hand covering her mouth while tears stream down her gorgeous face. I don’t know what to say to her. Should I be honest with her or let her Mom talk to her about it? Willow nods her head telling me its okay.
“Payton, the minute I found out I had a Daughter I did everything I could to get to here. I would have been here so much sooner but I had to graduate from College first.” I walk with Payton still in my arms over to willow. I put my arm around her waist and pull her into me. She doesn’t fight and lays her head on my shoulder.
Standing here in this room, holding this precious gift from God and the Woman I love, the emptiness I have felt for so long doesn’t exist anymore. I feel full and complete. I have one question to ask my Daughter though, I pull away from Willow and set Payton back down on her feet. I take her tiny four-year-old hands in giant-sized hands. I once again look into her brown eyes, and of course, she is smiling
“Payton, I have a very important question to ask you. I know your Mom has been great in raising you since you are an amazing and brilliant young lady. So my question is will you allow me to be here for you and your Mom? I will always be here when you need me. No matter what happens I will always love you. I only found out about you a short while ago but I already love you so much.”
I lean forward so Willow can’t hear me and ask Payton “Would it be okay if I take your Mom out sometimes?” I sit back on my knees and look up at her again. Willow is still staying silent, watching me interact with our Daughter. I’m not sure what she was expecting to happen but she looks happy.
Payton peers up at her mother with another beaming smile; she runs at me again and wraps her arms around my neck. She whispers in my ear. “I may only be four but I know Mommy wasn’t happy, she was lonely without you. Mommy still loves you Daddy and I know we can be all be happy now that you are here. Oh, and yes you can go out with Mommy.”
I give my Daughter the biggest fatherly squeeze. I don’t know much about being a parent but I have had the greatest example of the best dad and I want to be just like him.