You know how you sometimes hear of how some dads have this little routine that they do with their children and the children just think it's the greatest thing? I've always been kinda jealous of that and wished that I could come up with something creative that my children could remember. Well, without really realizing it, it happened.
Before we brought Carlos and Jeremiah home, Sarah and I had been working on our Spanish, trying to get some phrases down to help Carlos' transition. Among them was the phrase, "Estaremos siempre aqui para usted" which means "We will always be here for you." I can't remember what the other phrases were, but ever since the first day we were united with our boys, I have told Carlos that phrase every night. "Good night. Love you! Estaremos siempre aqui para usted!" [and out goes the light.] Carlos has asked a couple of times why I say that, but hasn't really shown interest or that this was something special to him.
Until a few weeks ago. Or rather, until I finally realized a few weeks ago that it was.
Carlos has spent the night at Oma's house several times now and even then, before he leaves (or before we drop him off), I would always tell him the phrase. Of course, he is always excited to go to Oma's house and so the last time he went, he jumped in her car, got his seat belt on, then looked up at me and said, "Papi, can you tell me what you always tell me?" I knelt down, gave him a hug and said, "Carlos, estaremos siempre aqui para usted." He got this big grin on his face and said "Si!" And off they went.
That made my day knowing that hearing those words wasn't just a routine that he half-listened to, but it was something that had become part of our father-son relationship. It's a constant reminder to him that we will indeed be there for him. I hope he still wants to hear the words 10 years from now since I plan on saying it to him even then.