I wrote this more than four years ago for my first child, Jonah, when he was a toddler. His father and I had just separated, and I was trying to help him (and myself) deal with feelings of confusion and sadness.
Although I was primarily thinking of my son and our situation, I was also thinking of all the children who are separated from their fathers for different reasons–children whose fathers are off at war, travel for business, are not known, or who have died. I also had in mind the Paul Simon verse in “Slip Sliding Away” where he writes of the father who struggled to find the words to tell his son his feelings of love and regret.
In my mind, it’s a children’s book. Of course, in real life, it’s no more than a poem on a page. :)
A Father’s Love
Your papa might live at home with you
Or up in Alaska in a big igloo,
In an apartment up on the third floor,
Or in his own house with a bright red door.
You might see your daddy every second of the day:
“Daddy, please go! I’m trying to play!”
You might see your daddy just every now and then:
“Daddy, I missed you! Good to see you again!”
You might talk with your papa over the phone,
Or at night in your prayers when you’re all alone.
You might tell your pops all about your day,
Sometimes you might not know quite what to say.
He might show that he loves you with bear hugs and kisses
And all of your games that he never misses.
He might hide his love and keep it inside,
Thinking that feelings are something to hide.
But whether you see it in all kinds of ways
Or once in a lifetime on a very special day,
Your dad loves you, he loves you straight through.
Your daddy loves you for just being you.
© Amy Daniewicz and Beneath the Trees